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 third week of #ClassicsaDay #WomensHistoryMonth.
03/15/21 Francesca Caccini (1587–1640?) – Ballo
This music is from ” La liberazione di Ruggiero,” the oldest surviving opera by a woman composer. Caccini’s comic opera was first performed in 1625.
03/16/21 Beatriz de Dia (fl.c.1175-c.1212) – Ab joy et ab joven m’apais
The Comtessa de Dia was a trobairitz. These female troubadours wrote poetry and music for the Occitan courts. Beatriz was one of the more famous, though only five of her compositions survive.
03/17/21 Alice Mary Smith (1839-1884) – Te Deum Laudamus in A
Smith was an honorary member of the Royal Academy of Music. She wrote symphonies, chamber works, and extensively for choral groups.
Marguerite Balutet (1853-1928) – Prelude and Bouree
Balutet was a pianist who established an important piano academy in the 1890s. It was one of the first to have a rigorous curriculum in all aspects of music and a juried exam for certification.
03/19/21 Helen Grime (1981 – ) Percussion Concerto
Scottish composer Grime wrote her concerto in 2019. The solo percussionist plays a battery of 13 instruments, ranging from marimba to brake drums.