Teresa Carreno, alias Mara Teresa Carreo Garca de Sena, was a Venezuelan pianist, singer, composer, and conductor. She was one of the most talented pianists of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, performing and delivering concerts all over the world. The majority of her pieces were published, and they were in high demand by music fans. She was a prodigious pianist who began composing small piano pieces at the age of six and gave her first public performance at the age of eight. Her favorite instrument was the piano, which she could play flawlessly. She was always energised on stage and delivered electrifying performances that never failed to excite her audience. Teresa was dubbed the “Valkyrie of the Piano” because of her boundless energy and love in her piano performances. Her performances wowed not just the general public, but also musicians from all around the world. Claudio Arrau, a South American-born child prodigy, reminisced of the delight he felt when he first saw her perform, exclaiming, “Oh! “She was a goddess!” exclaims the narrator. Continue reading to learn more about this musical legend.
Early Years and Childhood
Teresa Carreo was born on December 22, 1853, into a musical family. Her father, Manuel Antonio, was a politician and an amateur pianist. Her family lived in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas. Her granddad was a well-known Venezuelan composer as well. Teresa has extraordinary musical abilities from a young age. As a pianist, her father realized this and taught her. Mathias, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and Anton Rubinstein later tutored her. Her teachers didn’t have to put in a lot of effort to teach her because she was a quick learner.
Her earliest flashes of brilliance were evident in the short piano pieces she produced when she was just six years old. Her family was desperate for her to become a celebrity, so they relocated to New York City, expecting that the huge city would provide her with more possibilities, exposure, and attention. As a result, in 1862, they relocated to New York City.
A Great Musician
Teresa was eight years old when her family moved to New York in the summer of 1862, and on November 25th of that year, she had her first performance at Irving Hall in New York. During this period, she met Louis Moreau Gottschalk, a pianist and composer from Orleans who was so taken with her playing technique that he offered to teach her several lessons. The following year, in January of 1863, she appeared in Boston.
She dedicated her first piece, “Gottschalk Waltz,” to composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk, and released it at the end of the year. She then moved to Cuba with her family, where she had considerable success. During the fall of the same year, she had the opportunity to perform for Abraham Lincoln at the White House.
Teresa and her family embarked on a journey to Europe in March of 1866. They first arrived in England, where they stayed for a short period before moving on to Paris and settling down. She had a fantastic opportunity to establish her career there, performing for notable musicians such as Gioachino Rossini and Franz Liszt. She also met great pianists and composers such as Charles Gounod and Camille Saint-Saens during her time in Paris. She returned to England for a brief visit, and this time she was able to capture the attention of music fans there.
Teresa’s mother died of cholera in the fall of 1866, and Teresa was left alone. Teresa had a major setback, yet she was able to move on from this difficult time in her life. She then accompanied her father to Spain, where she performed in Madrid and Zaragoza. She was a well-known pianist and composer at the time, and much of her music was published in Paris in the 1860s and 1870s, even before she was in her twenties. Teresa’s singing career reached its pinnacle in the early 1870s, when she gave countless concerts that catapulted her from success to success.
Career of Teresa Carreno
She continued to compose and tour with zeal throughout the 1870s. She married Emile Sauret, a violinist and composer, in 1873 when she was 20 years old, and moved to London with him. Emilita, her first child, was born in March, a year after her marriage. She later gave her child up for adoption, a decision she later regretted. Teresa and her husband, Sauret, moved to the United States the next year when her father died in Paris. They stayed there until 1889. For the next few years, she had an extremely busy schedule, with tours and concerts all throughout the United States. Her marriage to Sauret finally fell apart as a result of this, and they divorced.
Teresa’s marriage ended in tragedy, but she did not let it hinder her business or her life. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, she continued to tour tirelessly. She desired a change after spending so much time on the keyboard, and so she began a career as an opera singer, making her New York debut in 1876 as Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Her foray with opera was brief yet fruitful. She married her second husband, Giovanni Tagliapietra, an Italian-born baritone who was performing in the United States, around this time. Teresa and Giovanni were her offspring from this relationship. One of her daughters followed in her mother’s footsteps and went on to become a well-known pianist. During this time, Teresa met Edward MacDowell, a young, skilled pianist who wrote a number of juvenile works that Teresa began to champion.
Teresa made her first trip back to Venezuela, where she was born, in 1885. She did not, however, sit idly by; she gave concerts and produced a patriotic song in honor of Simón Bolvar’s birth. She also ran an opera company and began the process of establishing a music conservatory. All of this was accomplished within a year of her return.
Teresa returned to Europe in 1889 and resumed performing and playing the piano, giving her musical career a fresh lease on life. She spent a summer in Paris before relocating to Berlin and settling down. Teresa made her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, performing a piece from Grieg’s Piano Concerto. She was also free of her second marriage at this point. She followed her music, and it was on this voyage that she met and married the renowned pianist-composer Eugen d’Albert.
Teresa gave birth to two daughters, Eugenia and Hertha, after they married in 1892. This relationship, like her prior ones, couldn’t withstand the volatility, and the couple split up three years later. Teresa turned to composing for solace after her divorce, and during her summer vacations, she created a string quartet and a serenade, the former of which was published the next year and the latter of which remained unpublished.
Her career soared to new heights in Berlin, where she garnered widespread appreciation and exposure. She began teaching music and quickly became well-known. She continued to perform with a number of renowned European orchestras as well. She performed a wide range of late Romantic concertos, as well as lesser-known compositions. During this time, she was primarily connected with MacDowell’s Second Piano Concerto, which was dedicated to her by the composer. In 1902, she chose to marry Arturo Tagliapietra, the brother of her second husband.
Teresa went on two big world tours at the turn of the twentieth century, the first in 1907-08 and the second in 1909-11. During the first trip, she went to Australia and New Zealand, and during the second, she went to South Africa. November 1912 was a significant occasion for her because it marked her fifteenth year as a concert performer. She had a lavish celebration in Berlin to commemorate the occasion. Soon after the war broke out, which had an impact on her profession because it was unsafe to travel extensively at the time.
So she stayed in Europe for the first two years of the war, but with no sign of the war coming to an end, she moved to the United States of America for the last time in 1916 and continued performing there during the winter. The following year, she went to Cuba to perform, but she became unwell and had to return to New York.
Major Works of Teresa Carreno
Teresa Carreo wrote approximately 40 pieces for piano, two for voice and piano, two for choir and orchestra, and two for chamber music. She left a lot of her work unfinished. Though she specialized in piano works, she also composed a string quartet, a serenade, and a book titled “Possibilities of Tone Color by Artistic Use of Pedals,” which was released in 1919, two years after her death.
Performances of Note
Teresa’s first performance was on November 25, 1862, at Irving Hall in New York. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln was treated to a performance at the White House. Teresa’s first opera performance, in which she played Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, took place in New York in January 1876. On November 18, 1889, Teresa gave a concert with the Berlin Philharmonic.
Estimated Net Worth
The estimated net worth of Teresa Carreno is not available.