#ClassicsaDay Women’s History Month Week 1

The #ClassicsaDay team often uses Women’s History Month as their theme for March. And for good reason. Classical audiences might be aware that there are contemporary female composers. But perhaps not so aware (with the exception of Hildegard von Bingen), of how many women composed music throughout the centuries.

For March 2021, I decided to cycle through the eras. Each week features a woman from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic, and Modern eras, plus one from either the Middle Ages or the Renaissance. And this is just a sampling. Here are my picks for the first week of #ClassicsaDay #WomensHistoryMonth.

03/01/21 Kassia (c. 805-c.865) – Pelagia

Kassia was a Byzantine abbess. Her sacred music and poetry are among the earliest still extant. This one of her 50 surviving hymns.


03/02/21 Anna Amalia, Duchess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1739-1807) – Overture to Erwin und Elmire

Anna Amalia studied with Johann Kirnberger, himself a student of J.S. Bach. This overture is from her 1776 opera with a text by Goethe.


03/03/21 Jeanne Danglas ( d.1915) – Minuet

“Jeanne Danglas” was a pseudonym of Rosalie Crabos. Virtually nothing is known of Crabos, save that she published over 80 works of light classical music in the early 1900s.


03/04/21 Laura Constance Netzel (1839–1927)- Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 84

Netzel was born in Finland, though raised in Sweden from infancy. In addition to being a composer, pianist, and conductor, she also championed social justice. Netzel supported the causes of poor women, children, and workers.


03/05/21 Elisabetta Brusa (1954 – )- Dittico Notturno for guitar, Op. 3

Brusa studied with Peter Maxwell Davies and served on the faculty of the G. Verdi Music Conservatory in Milan. Her Dittico Notturno is one of her earliest mature works, written in 1982.

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