Discipline: Music Composition

Fannie Dillon

Discipline: Music Composition
MacDowell Fellowships: 1921, 1932, 1936, 1942, 1944

Born in Denver, Colorado, Fannie Charles Dillon (1881-1947) was an American composer, pianist, and teacher. After graduating from Pomona College in Claremont, California, she moved to Berlin to study piano with Leopold Godowky and composition with Hugo Kaun and Heinrich Urban; she later studied composition with Rubin Goldmark in New York. Dillon made her debut as a pianist in Los Angeles in 1908 and subsequently performed across the United States. In 1918 she played her own works at a piano recital for the Beethoven Society of New York. Dillon was a member of the music faculty at Pomona College and taught in Los Angeles public schools from 1918 until her retirement in 1941. She was in residence at MacDowell five times between 1921 and 1944.

The musical language of Dillon’s early works (chiefly piano music) owes much to late 19th century Romanticism, but by the time of her Eight Descriptive Pieces (1917) her style had become more pictorial: the pieces are freer in form and impressionist in character, with descriptive titles and texts. Dillon also wrote music for plays that were performed at the Woodland Theater, which she founded in Big Bear Lake, California.


New Jersey

Fannie Dillon worked in the New Jersey studio.

The yellow clapboard New Jersey Studio, located on a grassy, sloping site, was funded by the New Jersey Federation of Women’s Clubs and built as an exact replica of Monday Music Studio (1913). The studio’s porch rests on fieldstone piers that increase in height as the ground slopes to the west. Like Monday Music Studio, New Jersey…

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