Making a list of greatest female composers

Posted on: August 7, 2017

“NPR’s recent list of the 150 greatest albums by women was inspiring—but where were the composers?” writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (8/4) Washington Post. “In the wake of much discussion about the chronic underrepresentation of female composers on American concert programs, I came up with my own best-of list…. I confined myself to artists active in the recorded music era, the 20th and 21st centuries…. It was hard to winnow it down to only 35…. A firm case could be made as to why any of these women should be included on this list in place of any others.” In addition to Du Yun, who won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Music for her opera Angel’s Bone, Midgette’s list of living composers includes Lera Auerbach, Eve Beglarian, Lisa Bielawa, Unsuk Chin, Anna Clyne, Gloria Coates, Valerie Coleman, Gabriela Lena Frank, Sofia Gubaidulina, Jennifer Higdon, Laura Kaminsky, Libby Larsen, Missy Mazzoli, Meredith Monk, Paola Prestini, Shulamit Ran, Kaija Saariaho, Caroline Shaw, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Augusta Read Thomas, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Joan Tower, Melinda Wagner, Judith Weir, Julia Wolfe, and Chen Yi. Among composers no longer living, the list includes Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger, Cécile Chaminade, Pauline Oliveros, Florence Price, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Germaine Tailleferre, and Galina Ustvolskaya. 

Posted August 7, 2017