Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia


Marion Eugénie Bauer

1882 – 1955

by J.Michele Edwards

An energetic champion of contemporary music, Marion Eugénie Bauer’s work as a writer, teacher, and music advocate augments—perhaps even overshadows—her importance as a composer. Like many women composers of her generation, she focused her initial compositional activity on songs and piano solos. During the 1930s and 1940s, she completed several of her largest compositions.

Born on August 15, 1882, in Walla Walla, Washington, Marion was the youngest of seven children (four girls and three boys). The oldest, Emilie Frances (1865–1926), was Marion’s first piano teacher, and she supported Marion both financially and emotionally.

Her parents, Jacques Bauer (d. 1890) and Julia (not Julie as generally given) (Heyman) Bauer, were Jewish immigrants from France. Marion identified her father, band member in the Nineteenth Infantry during the Indian Wars and an amateur tenor, as the source of her interest and talent in music. Jacques Bauer was a storekeeper. Her mother, fluent in seven languages, was a respected educator who taught at Whitman College in Walla Walla (1882–1888) and then privately. Marion’s parents were married at Beth Israel Synagogue in Portland, Oregon, in 1864.

Despite her Jewis


For an extensive, detailed listing of Marion Bauer’s compositions, see Adrienne Fried Block and Carol Neuls-Bates, Women in American Music: A Bibliography of Music and Literature (1979). See NAW modern for a bibliography of writings about Bauer up to 1980.

Ammer, Christine. Unsung: A History of Women in American Music (1980).

Edwards, J. Michele. “North America Since 1920,” in Women and Music: A History, edited by Karin Pendle (1991), and “Bauer, Marion Eugénie,” The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers, edited by Julie Anne Sadie and Rhian Samuel (1994).

Fuller, Sophie. The Pandora Guide to Women Composers: Britain and the United States, 1629–Present (1994).

Hisama, Ellie M. “Gender, Politics, and Modernist Music: Analyses of Five Compositions by Ruth Crawford (1901–1953) and Marion Bauer (1887 [sic]–1955),” Ph.D. diss., City University of New York (1996).

Horrocks, Peggy A. “The Solo Vocal Repertoire of Marion Bauer with Selected Stylistic Analyses,” D.M.A. diss. (1994).

NAW modern.

Obituary. NYTimes, August 11, 1955.

Pickett, Susan. Telephone and e-mail communication with the author (June–July 1996).

Stewart, Nancy Louise. “The Solo Piano Music of Marion Bauer,” Ph.D. diss., College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati (1990).

UJE; WWIAJ (1938); WWWIA 3.

Archives holding significant collections related to Bauer include the Library of Congress, Mount Holyoke College, New York University, New York Public Library, American Composers Alliance, and American Music Center.

Time Period



How to cite this page

Edwards, J.Michele. "Marion Eugénie Bauer." Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia. 1 March 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on April 23, 2014) <>.