Biography

Hopekirk was a Scottish pianist, composer, and teacher who spent most of her life living in America. Following early studies in piano and composition in Edinburgh, she attended the Leipzig Conservatory from 1876 until 1878. Following successful debuts, she toured England and Scotland.

She married the music critic, painter, and businessman William A. Wilson in 1882, and, with her husband as manager, made her American debut in December 1883 with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. 

Hopekirk’s compositions reveal her lifelong interest in Gaelic folk music, and many are characterized by the use of folk-like melodic elements. Her large-scale works demonstrate her knowledge of classical idioms and strong formal organization. Hopekirk’s correspondences and papers are held primarily at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

 

[Biography adapted from Grove Music Online]

Image taken by Elmer Chickering of The Royal Studio, Boston c. 1910-1915

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Helen Hopekirk