Anna Priscilla Risher
Anna Priscilla Risher (November 2, 1875 - August 29, 1946) was an American composer, organist, pianist, later a painter as well.
A native of Dravosburg, Pennsylvania, Risher first studied music subsequent to William Wallace Gilchrist and Alexander Matthews. She attended the Pennsylvania College for Women, undertaking other studies at the New England Conservatory of Music; at the latter, her instructors included Adolph M. Foerster, Carl Stasny, George Whitfield Chadwick, and Leo Schultz. Returning to Pittsburgh, she worked as an organist at such venues as the East Liberty Presbyterian Church and Bethany Lutheran Church, and taught music as well; among her pupils was Charles Wakefield Cadman.
Risher's relations moved to California in 1918, and she became the director of music at the Cumnock School for Girls in Los Angeles. She established in the community of Laguna Beach and soon took happening painting in adjunct to her musical activities. She continued to compose, and worked as competently as the director of music for Saint James Episcopal Church. She organized a string quartet which bore her own name, and in 1933 organized the Hollywood Woman's Symphony Orchestra, a group of fifty musicians. She after that organized the Laguna Beach Little Symphony Orchestra, some of whose concerts she conducted, and chaired programming for the Society for the Advancement of American Music.
Risher had a long publishing membership with the magazine The Etude, published by Theodore Presser; her piano work Indian Lament received a prize offered by the Presser publishing house. In sum she composed some 350 pieces. Much of her output is chamber music, but she produced a number of larger-scale works as well, including a piano concerto. She after that wrote a number of pedagogical works. Four of Risher's pieces for piano trio - Andante Religioso, Berceuse, Mazurka, and From the West - were recorded by the Rawlins Piano Trio and released on Albany Records. A Mazurka Brilliante for violin and piano was recorded by Laura Kobayashi and Susan Keith Gray and released upon Albany as well. Additionally, a immediate work entitled Boblink was recorded by members of the New York Philharmonic under Henry Hadley as share of an school series of chronicles published by Ginn & Company.
Risher died in California, although the location is uncertain; it has been fixed variously as La Crescenta and Los Angeles.