Saturday, October 8, 2011

'On An Overgrown Path': 'Parallel paths of Philippa Schuyler'

[Philippa Duke Schuyler]

Bob Shingleton sends his latest post on Philippa Duke Schuyler. He links to a BBC Radio 3 program description, from which we present an excerpt, and two earlier posts On An Overgrown Path:

Friday, October 07, 2011
“Parallel paths of Philippa Schuyler
A synopsis of BBC Radio 3's Philippa Schuyler profile Colour of genius is now available. As recounted earlier the BBC had told me they were developing this programme following my August articles. But despite this the similarities in wording are.... striking.

BBC Radio 3
Friday, 20:25 on BBC Radio 3
Synopsis [Excerpt]
“Ella Spira tells the story of a forgotten American genius, a flag-bearer for gender and racial equality whose career as pianist and composer was destroyed by prejudice and a mother who sculpted her life as a genetic experiment. And what starts out as a simple story ends with an extraordinary and unanticipated connection between presenter and subject.

“Philippa Schuyler's life should have been one of fame and reward. Fêted by composer Leonard Bernstein, her work was performed by five leading American orchestras in her teens. She was ranked alongside Aaron Copland, and is rumoured to be the subject of a forthcoming Hollywood movie starring Alicia Keys. But in reality it was a deeply traumatic career, defined by her mixed race and the mother who viewed her as the product of a genetic experiment.

“For Ella Spira she is a fascinating enigma, a kindred spirit as a woman in a man's world. But can her talent ever be separated from the complexities which surrounded it, a life as a 'prodigy puppet' ruled by tarot cards and failed love affairs, and her bizarre death in a helicopter accident over Vietnam after recasting herself from black to white?

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