Rediscovering overlooked female composers

Posted on: December 19, 2016

“Throughout musical history, women who wanted to write music have done so against the until recently mainstream view that women are incapable of creating high art,” writes Elinor Cooper in Friday’s (12/16) BBC Music Magazine. “Today, we are beginning to appreciate the huge body of work by these women which is still, in many cases, unexplored. Here, in the second article of our series [the first was published March 8, 2016], we reveal the complex lives of ten more great female composers who deserve to be better known today.” Included are Maddalena Casulana (c1544-90) “the first woman ever to have her own volumes of madrigals printed,” Marianna Martines (1744-1812), pianist/composer Maria Szymanowska (1789-1831), Adele aus der Ohe (1861-1937), “one of the few child prodigies accepted as a pupil by Liszt,” Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944), American composer Amy Beach (1867-1944), Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979), whose Viola Sonata “tied with a sonata by Ernst Bloch” to win the 1919 Berkshire Festival of Music Competition, Lili Boulanger (1893-1918), Florence Price (1887-1953), whose Symphony in E minor was premiered by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, making Price “the first African-American woman to have an orchestral work performed by a major American orchestra,” and English composer Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-94).

Posted December 19, 2016