Ina Lohr (1903-1983): Transcending the Boundaries of Early Music.

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Author: Mimi Mitchell
Date: April-June 2021
From: Fontes Artis Musicae(Vol. 68, Issue 2)
Publisher: International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,278 words
Lexile Measure: 1390L

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Compiled by Sandi-Jo Malmon and Colin Coleman

Ina Lohr (1903-1983): Transcending the Boundaries of Early Music. By Anne Smith. Basel, Switzerland: Schwabe Verlag, 2020. [514 p. ISBN 978-3-7965-4106-3. 82 CHF]

Ina Lohr (1903-1983): Transcending the Boundaries of Early Music is an important and extensive biography of a little-known, but extremely influential musician. This book is not only an important contribution to the literature about the early music movement, but is essential reading for an understanding of the creation of two important Swiss institutions, the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis and the Basel Chamber Orchestra. Anne Smith has assembled an impressive array of source material that includes unpublished family photographs, music compositions, and correspondence. This allows the reader to place Ina Lohr in context, and to give us an understanding of her world, her character, and her achievements.

Ina Lohr, born in Amsterdam to well-educated parents, is said to have 'sang before she spoke'. Her parents provided a rich intellectual and cultural environment for their children, and it was assumed that Lohr would become a professional violinist. After completing secondary school, Lohr was felled by a serious illness before being able to continue her music studies at the progressive Amsterdam Muziek-Lyceum, where there was a desire to link music study with 'philosophical and religious reflection'. This environment and the people she met during her studies influenced the rest of Lohr's musical life.

While traveling to Switzerland for a vacation after her final exams in 1929, Lohr's precarious health forced her to stop in Basel. While she was recuperating, her string quartet was performed by a local ensemble at a house concert attended by Felix Weingartner, director of the Basel Symphony Orchestra and Conservatoire. Impressed by the work, and perhaps, as Lohr suggested, intrigued by the novelty of a female composer, Weingartner invited her to study composition in Basel. This offer changed the trajectory of Lohr's life.

After her study in Basel, Lohr...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A669688477