#ClassicsaDay #WomensHistoryMonth Week 4, 2023

March is Women’s History Month. And for Classics a Day, it’s another opportunity to focus on classical music composed by women. And not just composers in the 21st Century. 

Every year when we do this theme, I discover more female composers whose music I have never heard before. But it’s music that deserves to be heard — and more than once.

Here are my posts for the fourth week of Women’s History Month, 2023.

03/20/23 Julie Pinel: Chantez, dansez jeunes bergères

Little is known about this French composer and harpsichordist. She did publish a collection of 31 songs in 1737, Nouveau receuil d’airs sérioux et à boire.

03/21/23 Sophia Maria Westenholz: Sonata for Piano Four Hands, Op. 3

Westenholz was an accomplished singer and pianist, as well as a composer. Her husband was Kapellmeister to the Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin. When he died in 1789, she was named Kapellmeisterin and continued to serve the court as a performer, composer, and teacher.

03/22/23 Beatritz de Dia (fl. c. 1175-c.1212): Estat ai en greu cossirier

Beatritz was a trobairitz (a female troubadour). She composed and performed poems and songs for courtly entertainment. Unlike troubadours, most trobairtiz were of noble birth — like the Comtessa de Dia.

03/23/23 Francesca Caccini (1587 – after 1641): Antri gelati

Caccini was a singer, lutenist, poet, and composer. She’s credited as the first woman to write a complete opera. “La liberazione di Ruggiero dall’isola di Alcina” (1625) was a smash hit.

03/24/23 Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677): Che si può fare Op. 8

Strozzi was both a singer and composer. She holds the distinction of having the most secular music in print of any composer of the era — male or female.

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