Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Margarethe Dessoff

signature image

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Heritage Floor; detail), 1974–79. Porcelain with rainbow and gold luster, 48 x 48 x 48 ft. (14.6 x 14.6 x 14.6 m). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

Margarethe Dessoff
b. 1874, Vienna; d. 1944, Locarno, Switzerland

Margarethe Dessoff came from a musical family; her father was a conductor in Frankfurt, Germany. After World War I, Dessoff moved to New York where, in 1924, with Angela Diller, she formed the Adesdi Chorus of Women's Voices, renamed the Dessoff Choirs in 1929. She was one of the first conductors to specialize in medieval and Renaissance music. Dessoff and her company were committed to presenting choral works not normally heard on the traditional concert circuit, and to giving fine amateur singers the chance to perform some of the world's greatest music. Dessoff remained director-conductor of the Choirs until her retirement in 1936; the company continues today.

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