Ballon, Ellen

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Ballon, Ellen

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Description area

Dates of existence

1898-1969

History

Ellen Ballon was born in Montreal on October 6, 1898 of Jewish Lithuanian immigrant parents. She started taking piano lessons at an early age, beginning her studies at the Conservatorium at McGill under Clara Lichtenstein, a former student of Liszt, in March 1904. She gave her first concert appearance at the age of five. In 1906 she moved to New York to study piano with Rafael Joseffy and harmony with Rubin Goldmark. She performed for Sir Wilfred and Lady Laurier in New York (1909) and made her New York debut in 1910.

In 1914 she moved to Switzerland to study with Josef Hofmann, but wartime conditions forced her return to New York in 1916. She performed as a concert pianist throughout these years, and became a pupil of Wilhelm Backhaus in 1925. Ellen Ballon toured Europe in 1927, and upon her return to Canada, established a scholarship in music at McGill University. She toured Canada in 1928, and in 1934 returned to England to live. Her career suffered a fallback in 1938 when she broke her right ankle getting out of a taxicab. Two years later her leg had healed sufficiently that she could resume concert performances, so she recommenced her career and moved to New York City.

In 1942, both of Ellen Ballon's parents died, and she began to participate actively in war efforts. In 1945 she commissioned a concerto from the Brazilian composer, Heitor Villa-Lobos and performed the world, American and Canadian premiers of this work in 1945, 1946, and 1947, respectively. Ellen Ballon was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Music by McGill University in 1954. She married Colonel Theodore LaFleur Bullock of Quebec in 1958 and died in Montreal in 1969.

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Related entity

Jonàs, Alberto (1868-1943)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

hierarchical

Dates of the relationship

1916-1925

Description of relationship

Alberto Jonás taught Ellen Ballon in New York, c. 1916 to c. 1925.

Related entity

Karsh, Yousuf (December 23, 1908 – July 13, 2002)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Type of relationship

Karsh, Yousuf is the provider of Ballon, Ellen

Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Yousuf Karsh photographed Ellen Ballon.

Related entity

Menuhin, Yehudi, 1916-1999 (1916-1999)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Type of relationship

Menuhin, Yehudi, 1916-1999 is the associate of Ballon, Ellen

Dates of the relationship

1957

Description of relationship

Yehudi Menuhin attended a performance given by Ellen Ballon in Montreal in 1957.

Related entity

Villa-Lobos, Heitor (1887-1957)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Type of relationship

Villa-Lobos, Heitor is the associate of Ballon, Ellen

Dates of the relationship

1945

Description of relationship

Ellen Ballon commissioned Villa-Lobos' first piano concerto.

Related entity

Backhaus, Wilhelm (1884-1969)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1925-1927

Description of relationship

Ellen Ballon studied with Wilhelm Backhaus in New York from 1925 to c. 1927.

Related entity

Hofmann, Josef (1876-1957)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1914

Description of relationship

Ellen Ballon moved to Switzerland to study with Josef Hofmann in 1914 but was forced to return to New York due to wartime conditions in 1916.

Related entity

Joseffy, Rafael (1852-1915)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1906-1914

Description of relationship

Joseffy taught Ellen Ballon in New York.

Related entity

Goldmark, Rubin (1872-1936)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship

associative

Dates of the relationship

1906-1914

Description of relationship

Rubin Goldmark studied briefly with Rafael Joseffy in New York.

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