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Women composers A-Z
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Amy Marcey (Cheney) Beach
* 1867 † 1944
An American composer and pianist born in New Hampshire, who’s talent showed from earliest infancy. She was the first major American musician to be educated strictly in the United States and celebrated during her lifetime as the foremost woman composer of the USA. She was composing at 4, her mother began to teach her piano at 6 and at age 7 she gave her first public performances playing works of Handel and Beethoven. She was the first American Woman to succeed as a composer of large-scale art music. She had one year of lessons in harmony and counterpoint, studied the masters as models, then taught herself orchestration and fugue. She made her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra aged 16 and only curtailed her performances after her marriage to Henry Harris Aubrey Beach aged 19 in respect of his wishes.
After her husband’s death, Beach went to Europe, determined to establish a reputation there as both a performer and composer. Her earliest works demonstrate her ability to create a long line and her sensitivity to relationships between music and text. Song is at the core of her style – she used some of her songs as themes in her instrumental works. Her remarkable ear for harmony and harmonic colour is apparent from the beginning and like the early Romantics she emphasizes modal degrees and uses mixed modes. Her association of key with colour and extending this with moods resulted in the expressive use of modulation. Using her status she furthered the careers of many young musicians.

Werke:

Annäherung XI
Trio op. 150
Christmas Carols by Women Composers Vol. 3
Christmas Carols by Women Composers Vol. 4

Janet Beat
* 1937 in Streetly, Staffordshire
Janet Beat (born 1937) studied music at Birmingham University, where she con-tinued with post-graduate research into early Italian opera for which she received the G. D. Cunningham Award. She continued her research in Italy and on her return home she had some composition tuition from Alexander Goehr and encouragement from Luigi Dallapiccola. One of the women pioneers in electronic music composition in the UK, she established the electronic music and recording studios for the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
In 1992 she was Visiting Composer at the Meistersinger-Konservatorium, Nürnberg (now the Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg/Augsburg). In 1996 she began to lecture for Glasgow University where she is now an Honorary Research Fellow. Her music has been performed worldwide with important premieres in London, Scotland, Austria, Germany, Poland and Portugal and broadcast in the UK, the USA and Portugal where a whole programme was devoted to her electro-acoustic music in the Musica Hoje series. She has also been a featured composer at festivals in London, Australia and Germany. Many of her works have been heard at major music festivals: the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, MDR Musiksommer, Nürnberger Tage Neuer Musik, Santorini Music Festival, Musica Nova, Mayfest, Contempofest Australia, Music Alaska, Electric Music 3, the Chard Festival of Women in Music, WIM the Festival. Though the main part of her music was written for the concert hall, she has also composed for film and television.

Werke:

5 Stücke
5 Stücke
5 Stücke
After Reading 'Lessons of the War'
Annäherung VIII - an sieben Komponistinnen
Apsara Music 1
Arabesque, scenes from Jordan
Capriccii vol. 1 for piano
Circe
Circe
Equinox Rituals: Autumn
Fanfare for Haydn
Fireworks in Steel
Five Projects for Joan
Harmony in Autumn
Mexican Night of the Dead
String Quartet No. 1
Sylvia Myrtea
The Splendour Falls for brass septet
Two Caprices for solo flute: Dialogue, Krishna's Hymn to the Dawn
Vincent Sonata
Christmas Carols by women composers vol. 1

Louise de Beaucourt
Little is known about Louise de Beaucourt. Her music was published between 1817 and 1830 in Paris.
No description available!

Werke:

L‘amour et le printemps. Songs around 1800

Ida Becker, geb. Naumann
† 1897
Ida Becker was a late 19th-century Swiss composer. She was a pupil of Albert Becker and Friedrich Karl Kiel, who insisted on the pub-lication of her children’s songs when the manuscript was shown to him. Her intimate music for the home and family circle was particularly successful in her time.
Ida Becker’s “Weihnachtslied” is taken from her song cycle “Lieder aus der Kinderwelt” (Songs from the world of childhood) and was published in 1881.

Werke:

Christmas Carols by women composers vol. 1
Christmas Carols by Women Composers Vol. 2

Antonia Bembo
* 1640 in Padua oder Venedig † 1720
Antonia Bembo ca. 1640 - ca. 1720 Antonia Bembo wurde um 1640 in Padua oder Venedig geboren. Der bedeutendste zeitgenössische Opernkomponist in Venedig, Francesco Cavalli, war ihr privater Lehrer und der Gitarrist und Komponist Francesco Corbetta begleitete sie beim Singen. Ludwig XIV. gewährte ihr eine lebenslange Pension die es ihr gestatte in Paris zu leben
Sie fand Unterkunft im Convent Notre-Dame des Bonnes Nouvelles. Bald schon konnte sie dem König eine erste Sammlung eigener Kompositionen widmen: 'Produzione Armoniche' - 40 Gesänge für Sopran, Violinen und Generalbass. Die letzten ihrer erhaltenen Werke sind Psalmvertonungen in französischer Sprache der 7 Psalmen, die unter dem Namen 'Bußpsalmen' bekannt sind, komponiert für Solostimmen in unterschiedlicher Besetzung, begleitet von 2 Melodieinstrumenten und Generalbass.

Werke:

Exaudiat te Dominus Psalm 19 (20)
Les sept Psaumes de David Vol. 1 Psalm VI: Domine, ne in furore tuo argua me (S, T)
Les sept Psaumes de David Vol. 2 Psalm XXXI: Beati, quorum remissae (S1, S2, T (Altus)), B)
Les sept Psaumes de David Vol. 3 Psalm XXXVII: Domine, ne in furore (S1, S2)
Les sept Psaumes de David Vol. 4 Psalm L: Miserere mei (S)
Les sept Psaumes de David Vol. 5 Psalm CI: Domine, exaudi orationem meam (S, B)
Les sept Psaumes de David Vol. 6 Psalm CXXIX: De profundis clamavi (Altus)
Les sept Psaumes de David Vol. 7 Psalm CXLII: Domine, exaudi orationem meam (S1, S2)
Te deum

Adele Bloesch-Stöcker
* 1875 † 1978
"...Das Berner Kammerorchester führte Adele Bloesch-Stöcker's Violinkonzert in der Französischen Kirche auf, an jenem Ort, wo es vor 66 Jahren bereits einmal erklungen war... Die Komponistin schrieb ein Werk in symphonischer Form, trotz kleinerer Besetzung.
Frau Bloesch muss eine wache Zeitgenossin gewesen sein: Schalkhaft ironische Kommentare von Fagott und Trommel weisen darauf hin, dass die Komponistin sich nicht mehr im 19. Jahrhundert befindet. Der Erfolg der Wiederaufführung war nicht zuletzt Patricia Kopatchins¬kaja zu verdanken. Dass sich die phänomenale Geigerin mit solcher Energie in unbekannte Musik zu stüzen wagt, kann ihr nicht hoch genug angerechnet werden."

Grace M. Bolen
* 1884 in Kansas City, Missouri † 1976
Grace M. Bolen ist in Kansas City, Missouri geboren und aufgewachsen. Ihr bei Furore publiziertes Werk, Smoky Topaz, wurde bereits zu Ihren Lebzeiten verlegt. Wie viele andere vielversprechende Komponistinnen hörte auch Bolen auf zu komponieren, als sie 1903 heiratete.
Mit ihrem dritten Ehemann Jay Davidson zog Grace nach Texas um, wo sie Klavier- und Gesangsunterricht gab und sich um ihre Tochter Frances Lorraine kümmerte. Sie wurde von FreundInnen und AnhängerInnen auch "Mama Grace" genannt.

Werke:

Ragtimes

Anna Bon di Venezia
* 1739
Anna Bon is a fascinating composer among women artists in the 1700’s. Among the rarity of women composers, Anna Bon is an enigma because not much is known of her. If the addition to her name “di Venezia” indicating her birthplace sticks to speculation, because no document about her place and date of birth has been found yet. She was the daughter of the famous architect, scenographer, and Venetian painter Girolamo Bon and the Bolognese singer Rosa Ruvinetti, who were both linked to the court of Friedrich the Great of Prussia.
Anna’s father, Girolamo, stayed in Germany in 1746, first in Berlin and then in Dresden, then went to Potsdam at the court of Frederic of Prussia in 1750. In 1756, he went to Bayreuth where he was a professor of architecture and prospectives at the “Academy of Fine Arts”. Her mother Rosa Ruvinette (di Bologna) was a singer at the court of Frederic between 1748 and 1752. At the age of 16, Anna was appointed as court musician to Friedrich, vice-count of Brandenburg-Bayreuth and his wife, Wilhelmine of Bayreuth, a composer herself and a sister of Friedrich the Great. Anna was “virtuosa di musica da camera” in 1756 – this is written on the frontpieces of the “VI Sonate da Camera per il flauto Traversiere Violoncello o Cembalo” – opera prima. Anna Bon’s first mentioned publication was dedicated to the vice-count who was an experienced flutist. These sonatas were presumably submitted as part of an application for the position of a harpsichordist at the court of the margaravine Wilhelmine of Bayreuth, in whose service she was later employed. Further works appeared in print: “Sei Sonate per il Cembalo” (opus 2), which were dedicated to Ernestina Augusta Sophia Princess of Weimar, in 1757 and in 1759 “Sei Divertimenti a due Flauti e Basso” (opus 3) dedicated to the elector of Mannheim Karl Theodor. This dedication indicates that she was looking for a new sphere of activity. Dependend on the beginning of the Seven Years’ War in 1756 and the death of Wilhelmine of Bayreuth in 1758 there most probably was a decrease of concerts at the court of Bayreuth. In 1762 the Bon family found employment at the court of Prince Esterházy, where Josef Haydn was Kapellmeister. Anna Bon and her mother Rosa were engaged as singers, her father Girolamo as a set designer. It is known for a fact that Anna Bon lived there until 1765. By 1767 Anna Bon, now married to a tenor “chamber singer” by the name of Mongeri, was presumably living at the court of Hildburghausen in Thuringia. This was the residence of Princess Ernestine Auguste of Sachsen-Hildburghausen, who already knew Anna Bon from her time in Bayreuth. There is no record of the whereabouts of Anna Bon after 1767.

Werke:

Annäherung VII - an sieben Komponistinnen
Astra Cœli. Aria for S, 2 Vl, Va, Basso and Organo
Sonatas for flute op. 1 Vol. 1: Volume I: Sonate I (C), Sonate II (F), Sonate III (B)
Sonaten für Flöte op. 1 Vol. 2 Sonate 4-6
pian é forte. Music for piano

Mel(anie) Bonis
* 21.01.1858 in Paris † 18.03.1937 in Paris
The French composer Mel Bonis (1858-1937) came from humble origins among the Parisian petit bourgeois. She is not known to have any musical antecedents; her passion for music was quite her own. After teaching herself to play the piano, Mélanie obtained her parents’ permis-sion to attend music lessons. Thanks to her talent and willpower, she met the right people and César Franck himself made it possible for her to attend the Conservatory in Paris in 1876. She achieved brilliant results in courses in harmony, piano accompaniment and composition, under the masters Guiraud and Bazille, attending classes along with Pierné and Debussy.
After studying for three years, and winning a first prize for Harmony and a second prize for Accompaniment, her parents made her leave the Conservatory in order to put an end to her romance with the celebrated Amédée Hettich, a brilliant young student of song. Mélanie then entered into a marriage of convenience, becoming the wife of rich Parisian industrialist Albert Domange. She became responsible for a large family and was burdened with many household chores. In this situation, always far removed from music, she soon rediscovered her passion for composition, a passion enhanced by her hypersensitivity, inspired by her forbidden love and elevated by a deeply Christian attitude to morals and mysticism. Mel Bonis has left us an important body of works, about 300 pieces covering virtually every genre: choral works, organ pieces, melodies, chamber music (including a number of masterpieces such as the quartets and the sonnets), orchestra and piano pieces. The post-Romantic style of her works is fully in keeping with her era. She displays great variety, ranging from the dramatic to the humorous, is often vigorous and sensual, borrows from the Orient, always writes well and with great sensitivity. These are intimate pieces easily identi-fied by their harmonic and rhythmic originality. The music of Mel Bonis is both original yet well integrated into its time. Deeply moving, it springs from an undying source of inspiration, is well structured and confidently written. The chamber music represents the flower of her works. It is made up of some twenty works for a variety of instruments, almost always associated with the piano. A dozen of these are major works, sonatas, trios, quartets, septets, which will bear comparison with the best composers of the time.

Werke:

Annäherung XII - an sieben Komponistinnen XII
Danse sacree for orchestra
Fantaisie op. 72,2 for piano and orchestra
Piano Quartet in B flat
Piano quartet d major op. 124
Le Chat sur le toit ou les amours du chat for voice withj orchestra
Le Ruisseau op. 21,2 for soprano and alto (duo or choir) with orchestral accompaniment
Le Songe de Cléopâtre for orchestra
Le Songe de Cléopâtre for orchestra
Les Gitanos op. 15/3 for orchestra
Mel Bonis

Leben und Werk einer
außergewöhnlichen Frau und Komponistin

Ophélie op. 165/2 for orchestra
Pieces for 2 pianos
Salomé op. 100/2 for orchestra
Soir / Matin (1907) 
Suite Orientale op. 48/2 for orchestra
Suite Orientale op. 48/2 for orchestra
Suite en forme de valses for orchestra
Suite pour violon et piano op. 114 (1926)
Trois danses for orchestra
Trois danses for orchestra
Vol. 10: Danses B for piano
Vol. 11: Danses C for piano
Vol. 1: Femmes de Légende. Piano Music
Vol. 2: Pieces pittoresque et poetiques A 1881 - 1895
Vol. 3: Pieces pittoresque et poetiques B 1895 - 1905
Vol. 4: Pieces de Concert. Concert Pieces
Vol. 5: Danses A
Vol. 6: Pieces à quatre mains A /4 hand pieces
Vol. 7: Pièces pittoresques et poétiques C: 1910 - 1932
Vol. 8: Pièces à quatre mains B
pian é forte. Music for piano


Sylva Bouchard-Beier
Sylva Bouchard-Beiers’ path to composing was not straightforward but rather that of a practising artist and songstress who, in the course of many creative years as an opera singer, frontwoman in a heavy-metal band, ensemble conductor and director, faced up to the demands of very different audiences while always remaining committed to classical music.
Her foundations were in-depth music theory studies at the Hanns-Eisler Music Academy in Berlin and postgraduate music education studies in Mainz. This has been complemented by a passion for making and creating on a variety of theatre stages, in solo programmes and in producing vocal theatre with ensembles and young singers. When she is sometimes unable to find the right music to suit her topic, she goes about creating her own. Thus, with the passage of time a remarkable number of works for choir, instruments and solo voice have come into being, crowned by two operas in cooperation with musician Thomas Lang.
www.sylva-bouchard-beier.de

Werke:

Man malt sich doch nicht gern umsonst die Lippen rot
Man malt sich doch nicht gern umsonst die Lippen rot (CD)

Lili Boulanger
* 21.08.1893 in Paris † 15.03.1918
This French composer was born into a musical family. Her mother Raissa Mychtesky was a singer, her father Ernest a composer and her sister Nadia music educator and conductor. In her childhood she learned to play the organ, piano, cello, violin and harp. From 1900 on Boulanger began to compose. Being too self-critical she destroyed her own works. Despite her ill health – she contracted chronic pneumonia at the age of two – she obsessed to win the coveted “Prix de Rome” as her father did. In 1913 at the age of 19, she won it for her cantate Faust et Hélène becoming the first woman composer to win the prize.
Even though she was such a frail person she wrote with solemnity and grandeur, vivid contrasts and technical mastery, especially in her orchestral writings, where the sensitive handling of large choral and orchestral forces continue to compel admiration.

Werke:

La Palmera. Music for Flute and Piano
Christmas Carols by Women Composers Vol. 3

Margaret Brandman
* 19.09.1951
Margaret Brandman is a respected Australian composer, performer and music educator whose career spans 40 years.
Born in 1951, into a musical family Margaret naturally became fascinated by music. From the age of four she studied accordion and piano, taking up guitar and clarinet in her teens. Her music education was extremely broad, covering many styles and influences and supported by formal studies at the Sydney Conservatorium in piano, clarinet, harmony and composition. She graduated from the Conservatorium High School gaining a position as one of the top three music students in the state of New South Wales. Winning a scholarship, she attended the University of Sydney, majoring in composition, gaining her Bachelor of Music and at the same time, acquiring her Teacher of Pianoforte Diploma, and the Associate Performer Degree. In recent years Margaret has been awarded the Fellow in Composition, Fellow in Music Education, and Licentiate in Performance by the Australian Society for Musicology and Composition. She has also been awarded the Diploma of Excellence by the World Piano Teacher’s Association for her DVD presentation ‘The Geometry of the Piano and the Symmetry of the Hands’ which showcases both her compositions and her teaching concepts and was presented in 2011 and 2012 in Serbia. During her career Margaret Brandman has composed a variety of music for a number of genres. Her works range from pieces for various instrumental combinations, including a saxophone quartet and works for string orchestra, to a song cycle and many works for solo piano. Her works have received live performances and have been broadcast on radio. Margaret’s compositions and music education materials are distributed internationally. She has also combined her pedagogical interests with the composition of collections of interesting teaching pieces for piano students. Many of these pieces are set as examination pieces in Australian examination syllabuses. In March 2003 Margaret was selected by the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England as ‘International Woman of the Year for services to Music. In 2007 she received a prestigious business award from the Glebe TrueLocal Business awards. In 2012 she received the Australian continent award for Distinguished Intellectual Contributions to the World Forum during which she performed her own compositions at the concert and a gave a lecture on music education for the Arts Symposium.

More information about Margaret Brandman

Werke:

Warm Winds in Havana for Saxophone Quartet (parts)
Autumn Rhapsody
Lyric Fantasy
Reflections for piano
Sonorities
The Optimum Number (score and parts)
The Optimum Number (score)
The Optimum Number (Stimmen)
Three Sketches - a Dissertation on ‘D’
Undulations
Warm Winds in Havana for Saxophone Quartet (score and parts)
Warm Winds in Havana for Saxophone Quartet (score)
When spirits soar


Regine Brunke
* 21.09.1964 in Kassel
Regine Brunke, born in 1964, is a composer and cellist and lives in Kassel.
Ihre Mitwirkung bei experimentellen künstlerisch/kompositorischen Projekten seit den 80ziger Jahren, die Begeisterung für die bildende Kunst, die seit 1994 andauernde Tätigkeit als Cellistin des vom Kasseler Komponisten Ulli Götte gegründeten Ensembles in process (Modern Minimal Music),der Kompositionsunterricht bei Winfried Michel, ihr musikalisches Schaffen für verschiedene professionelle Figurentheater, ihre konzeptionelle kompositorische Arbeit für verschiedene literarische Projekte sowie die von 1989 bis zum heutigen Tag währende Auseinandersetzung mit der Folkmusik Skandinaviens führte zu eigenen Tongemälden, die seit 1998 zu Sonaten, Zyklen, Suiten und anderen klassischen Formen ausgearbeitet und erweitert wurden. Die Kompositionen von Regine Brunke befassen sich inhaltlich mit den existenziellen und seelischen Zwischenwelten, z. B. dem „Sein zwischen Traum und Wirklichkeit“, dem „ Wandern durch Zeit und Ewigkeit“, den Schatten, dem Märchenhaften, dem“ Entfernt sein“. Ein besonderer Aspekt liegt dabei in der kompositorischen Interpretation von literarischen Vorlagen, wobei nicht zwangsläufig der Text als solches zugrunde gelegt wird, sondern die aus dem Text resultierenden Stimmungen Grundlagen für die Kompositionen sind. In filigraner, reduktiver Art sind virtuell veränderte Tierstimmen und Naturgeräusche in die Musik eingearbeitet. So erklärt sich der Kunstname Creatafera, den Regine Brunke als Überbegriff für Ihre Kompositionsprojekte gewählt hat. "Fera" ist das wilde Tier (lat.), "Creata", sich selbsterklärend, ein Hinweis auf den kreativen Prozess der Kompositionen.

Werke:

Aufbruch
Der Zeitkönig op. 37
Erinnerung, Aufbruch, Hoffnung
Erinnerung, Aufbruch, Hoffnung
Literature- and Fairytale Compositions Vol. 2 for Cello
Literatur- und Märchenkompositionen for Violoncello solo
Stjernara for flute (soprano saxophone or voice), guitar and violoncello

Jeanette Bürde, geb. Milder
* 1799
Born near Vienna, Jeannette Bürde, née Milder (1799–?) received piano and vocal instruction at an early age. She performed as a pianist and singer in Berlin, where she moved following her sister Anna's appointment to the opera. In 1823 she joined the Singakademie. She studied composition with Rungenhagen and published numerous collections of songs for voice and piano. Her husband was a painter and professor at the Akademie der Künste (Arts Academy).
After his death, she taught piano and voice in Berlin. The last known mention of her is by Karl August Varnhagen von Ense in 1854, and the date of her death is unknown.

Werke:

Inspired by Goethe. Songs by women composers of the 18.th and 19.th Centuries

Hildegard von Bingen
* 1098 † 1178
Hildegard von Bingen has decisively shaped Western culture. A Benedictine abbess of Rupertsberg convent in central Germany during the 'Twelfth-Century Renaissance,' she wrote and composed profusely. Her works range from religious visions to philosophical and scientific exposition, from political proposals to poetic, artistic, and musical achievements. They have in significant ways enlightened her own time, and also have cast their shadow across the ages.
The present series offers Hildegard's sacred chants entitled Symphonia Armoniae Caelestium Revelationum, a collection of over seventy song settings of her own poetry. The chants in this collection she took to have been inspired directly by the 'Living Light,' not invented by her as a mere mortal. She offers them in groupings that reflect the heavenly and ecclesiastical hierarchy, from the divine to the mundane, ranging from the persons of the Trinity at one end of the spectrum to widows and innocents at the other. In order to preserve this rational grouping, we are devoting a separate volume to each such group. The Symphonia is the largest chant repertoire of the Middle Ages by a single author. Moreover, it forms a cornerstone in Hildegard's cosmology where she links music with the divine. Music represents the state of innocence humankind has lost in the Fall, which is restored by grace of the Father through the incarnation of His Son from the Virgin Mary, and communicated to the human soul through the Holy Spirit. For Hildegard, the soul is thereby symphonious in its essence. Accordingly, music provides the point of contact between the divine and the human spheres. And it is through music that the divine can be experienced, either in vision, or through simple participation in sacred song. Hildegard's chants invited such participation of her nuns. They evidently adorned the monastic services not only in her own three convents, but also in other religious communities of Germany and France. Marianne Richert Pfau Extract from: Dr. Marianne Pfau: Echo aus dem zwölften Jahrhundert: Die geistliche Musik der Hildegard von Bingen, in: Annäherung VII - an sieben Komponistinnen, Furore Verlag, Kassel 1996, S. 7-22, ISBN 3-927327-36-0

Werke:

Annäherung VII - an sieben Komponistinnen

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