Pianist Madeleine Forte’s story is one of obstacles and successes, of extraordinary talent, and of a long and fascinating life of international study and performance. Born in Vichy-controlled French Algeria during World War II, she began learning to play the piano at an early age and was soon performing publicly. She made her debut in Vichy at thirteen while studying with Alfred Cortot and Wilhelm Kempff. As a young woman, she went to boarding school in Algiers and Paris, continuing her musical studies. She married young, and the marriage fell apart not long after the birth of her first son, Yann. As she continued to travel, studying and performing, she struggled to establish herself as a professional artist. She studied with Rosina Lhévinne and Martin Canin in New York, married again, and became a professor of music at Boise State University. Her second marriage brought another son, Olen, and lasted fourteen years. After her second divorce, she moved to Connecticut, where she met Allen Forte, her third husband. They collaborated on several artistic projects and performed all over the world. Praise for Madeleine Forte’s Performances and Recordings “At a time when national styles have all but dissolved into a generalized international goulash, Forte’s gorgeous tone and sensuous line evoke classic French pianism … her Maurice Ravel holds its own against interpretations by many of her more celebrated peers, from the chaste simplicity of the Sonatine to the virtuosic ‘Gaspard de la Nuit,’ in which no prisoners are taken and no notes are dropped.” —The New Yorker “Madeleine Forte is another master of the French School … She plays Debussy in a manner that would do her old master Cortot proud, with a clear-eyed vigor, pearlescent tone, and attention to detail that does not belie the emotional content of the music but only makes it more coherent.” —Fanfare
Simply Madeleine: the Memoir of a post World War II French pianist is aimed at a general audience, including music lovers, but not limited to them. It tells the story of a young woman aspiring to be a great pianist following World War II. As such, it will interest women and those interested in gender studies, as well as those with an interest in post-World War II Europe. I should add that I am using Microsoft Word as my processor, and the manuscript which has already been completed is 45,000 words, approximately 150 pages, not including many black-and-white matte photographs.
Franco-American pianist Madeleine Forte has won prizes in international competitions in Viotti, Italy; Maria Canals, Spain; and Guanabara, Brazil. As a girl she studied with Alfred Cortot and Wilhelm Kempff. She holds an artist diploma from the École Normale de Musique, Paris, and from the Frédéric Chopin Academy in Warsaw. She holds BM and MS degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Rosina Lhévinne and Martin Canin. She also earned a PhD from New York University. Her book, Olivier Messiaen: The Musical Mediator, was published in 1996 by Fairleigh Dickinson Press. She is a fellow of Silliman College, Yale University. She tours with her husband, Allen Forte, Battell Professor emeritus of the Theory of Music, Yale University.