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Mary Krane Derr

multi‐instrumental musician, teacher, and orchestra conductor, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia. Some sources give her birth year as 1885; however, according to U.S. census data, it was most likely 1882. Her mother, Betty Anderson, was born March 1849 in Virginia. Little is known about Hallie Anderson's father except that he was also a Virginia native. When Hallie was three, the family migrated to New York City. As a child, Hallie took public school and private music lessons. She received classical training at the New York German Conservatory of Music. Although it did not record her occupation, the 1900 census noted that Hallie's mother was a widow who could neither read nor write, and who had seven living children. Betty Anderson was then living with three of her children, all of whom could read and write: Charles (born Sept. 1872), a waiter; John ...


Roanne Edwards

Henry Lewis was born in Los Angeles, California. During a music career that spanned nearly five decades, Lewis gained wide respect as a conductor, instrumentalist, and pioneer in the classical music world. At the age of sixteen he joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic, becoming the first black instrumentalist in a major orchestra. In 1968 he became the first black to head a major American orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, and in 1972 he debuted at the New York Metropolitan Opera, conducting Puccini's La Boheme.

Lewis began studying piano at the age of five and later learned to play the clarinet as well as several string instruments. After six years as a double-bassist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, he played with and conducted the Seventh Army Symphony while serving in the United States Armed Forces (1955–1956). He gained national recognition in 1961 when he was ...


Charles Barber

(b Los Angeles, Oct 16, 1932; d New York, Jan 26, 1996). American conductor. Following early studies in the piano, clarinet and double bass, he was appointed double bass player in the Los Angeles PO in 1951. He was drafted into the US Seventh Army in 1955, becoming double bass player and conductor in its Stuttgart-based symphony orchestra. In 1957 he returned to the Los Angeles PO. He was married to Marilyn Horne from 1960 to 1976. Lewis made his conducting début with the Los Angeles PO in 1961 substituting for Markevich. In the same period he founded the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, taking it on a European tour in 1963. From 1964 to 1965 he was assistant conductor of the Los Angeles PO, and was appointed music director of the Los Angeles Opera in 1965. In 1968 ...