Date of Award
Bachelors in Arts (B.A.)
Camilla Urso, Nineteenth-century musicians, Female violinists, American music
College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Lamont School of Music, Musicology and Ethnomusicology
Camilla Urso (1840-1902) was the first nationally famous female violinist in the United States. Between 1852-1902, Urso gave over a thousand concerts in the United States, becoming a musical celebrity on par with the Swedish soprano Jenny Lind. Through her public visibility, Urso transformed nineteenth-century American violin playing from a male-dominated field into an acceptable and even fashionable field for women. Despite her nineteenth-century fame, today Urso is mostly forgotten. Over the course of six chronological chapters, this thesis presents a contextual biography of Urso’s American concert career. Utilizing archival sources, digitized newspapers, and digital mapping methodologies, I argue Urso’s life and celebrity persona shifts expected geographical, cultural, and gendered narratives of nineteenth-century American musical culture.
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Nagel-Frazel, Maeve, "Becoming Camilla Urso: A Female Celebrity Violinist and the Transformation of American Musical Culture" (2022). Undergraduate Theses, Capstones, and Recitals. 12.