Filipa Monterro, Philippa Duke Schuyler

Philippa Duke Schuyler (1932–1969—some sources say born in 1931), raised in Harlem, New York City, New York, in later life called herself Filipa Monterro.  She is considered one of America’s most outstanding musical prodigies. She began playing the piano at age two, began composing at three, and by age eight had fifty compositions to her credit. Her first symphonic composition, Manhattan Nocturne, which she wrote at age twelve, was performed at Carnegie Hall. In 1953, she made her piano debut at Town Hall in New York. That same venue, in 1969, premiered her Niles Fantasia shortly after her death in a helicopter crash in Vietnam, where she was traveling as a war correspondent—having embraced a career in journalism after learning that her mixed-race parents had conceived and raised her as an experiment in biracialism. Her memory as a musical child prodigy is preserved at the Philippa Schuyler Middle School for the Gifted and Talented in Bushwick, Brooklyn, New York, which offers an arts-focused education to New York City students.

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