"Love your instrument as yourself. 

But love your art more than either.

Keep the fires of enthusiasm burning.

Nothing was ever accomplished without faith and enthusiasm."

- Maud Powell's Tenth Practice Rule

  • First American-born violin virtuoso of international rank.
  • First instrumentalist to record for the Victor Company's Celebrity Artist Series (1904).
  • First violinist to record for the Victor Company (1904).
  • First violinist to make world-wide best-selling records.
  • First woman to form and head her own professional string quartet with male players (1894-95).
  • One of the first women to form and lead her own string quartet of women players (1880s)
  • Toured Germany and Austria as violin soloist with New York Arion Society, Frank van der Stucken, conductor, in 1892, winning the highest critical acclaim.
  • Performed twice at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893 as soloist with conductor Theodore Thomas and the Exposition Orchestra.
  • Delivered a paper "Women and the Violin" to the Women's Musical Congress held during the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, and premiered Amy Beach's "Romance" (dedicated to Powell) with Beach at the piano.
  • Introduced 15 violin concertos to American audiences, including those by Tchaikovsky (1889), Dvorak (1893) and Sibelius (1906).
  • Performed the Dvorak concerto privately for Dvorak himself in 1892 before premiering it.
  • Performed the Beethoven concerto with Gustav Mahler conducting the New York Philharmonic, 1909, one of the "supreme moments" of her artistic career.
  • Coleridge-Taylor composed and dedicated his violin concerto to her; premiered in 1912.
  • One of the first musicians to perform publicly music by American composers, many of whom composed and dedicated music to her.
  • Possessed the largest repertoire of any violinist in her day.
  • Transcribed music for violin and piano and composed her own cadenza for the Brahms violin concerto (the third ever to be written).
  • First to write program notes for violin recital programs; wrote numerous articles for music journals.
  • One of the first concert artists to give violin recitals in American cities.
  • One of the first concert artists to tour North America with her own String Quartet (1894-95) and her own Trio (1908-09), introducing audiences to chamber music.
  • Created a new and enduring standard of performance, combining virtuosity with the highest level of musicianship.
  • Toured Europe, North America and South Africa to wide acclaim, appearing with the great orchestras and conductors of her time.
  • Her appearance on American concert platforms from 1885 to 1920 exerted a pivotal influence on the development of classical music in America.
  • Her example inspired young girls to take up the violin and women to form music clubs and orchestras.
  • One of the first concert artists to perform special concerts for school children.
  • Performed benefit concerts throughout the world.
  • Performed for the soldiers in every U.S. and some Canadian military camps during World War I, demolishing official Washington's skepticism that a lone woman classical violinist could hold their attention.

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