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Elizabeth Cowling (1910-1997) | Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives

Name: Elizabeth Cowling (1910-1997)
Variant Name: Betty Cowling

Historical Note:

Elizabeth Cowling was born in Northfield, Minnesota. She attended Carleton College, where she received her B.A. degree in Philosophy and went on to Columbia University, where she received her M.A. degree in Economics. Her Master'sand Ph.D. in Music were earned at Northwestern University.

Dr. Cowling studied in Europe, starting in Paris in 1929, where she worked with Paul Bazelaire and studied with Mischa Schneider of the Budapest String Quartet. In 1950 she was a student of Pablo Casals for a brief period. She came to the Woman's College (now UNCG) in 1945. At the Eastman School of Music in 1946 she began what was to become a long association with Luigi Silva. It was due to her efforts that UNCG acquired the Silva Cello Music Library and Silva's papers in 1963. Dr. Cowling's research into the literature and history of the cello led to the publication of her well-received work, The Cello, in 1975.

Dr. Cowling donated her music collection to Jackson Library in 1976 and 1977 and her collection of books in 1988. The standard cello repertoire is represented by more than 1000 publications and copies of manuscript music, including significant holdings of "teaching composers". The collection also features a large number of copies of manuscripts of seventeenth to nineteenth century Italian composers, collected in preparation for her 1967 dissertation, "The Italian Sonata Literature for the Violoncello in the Baroque Era."

Note Author: Special Collections Staff

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