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 fourth week of #ClassicsaDay #WomensHistoryMonth.
03/22/21 Leonora Duarte (1610–1678) Sinfonia No. 2
The seven sinfonias of Duarte are the earliest known works for viola by a female composer. During her lifetime she was well-respected as a composer and musician.
03/23/21 Sophia Giustina Corri Dussek (1775 – ca. 1831) – Harp Sonata in C minor, Op. 2 No. 3
Sophia was married to famed composer and pianist Jan Ladislav Dussek. She was a harpist, and her Opus 2 sonatas for the instrument were best sellers in 1790s London and Paris, going through at least three editions.
03/24/21 Adrienne Albert (1941 -) Cuban Stories for Flute, Bass Clarinet, Viola and Piano
Albert began her career as a mezzo-soprano, working with Stravinsky and Bernstein. She transitioned to conducting in the 1980s, then full-time composing in the 1990s
03/25/21 Hedwige Chrétien (1859-1944)- 6 petits préludes récréatifs
This French composer wrote over 150 works. Though many were for piano, Chrétien’s catalog includes chamber pieces, orchestral works, and two operas.
03/26/21 Larysa Kuzmenko (1956 – ) Behold the Night, for Choir and orchestra
This Canadian composer has garnered an impressive array of awards and commissions during her career. This work was premiered in 2011.