Women composers A-Z
Gabriele Hasler
* 18.04.1957 in Wiesbaden
Gabriele Hasler was born on April 18th 1957 in Wiesbaden and grew up in Stuttgart.

Karin Haussmann
* 1962 in Waibingen
Karin Haußmann studierte an der Folkwang-Hochschule in Essen Rhythmik, Musiktheorie bei Wolfgang Grandjean und Komposition bei Walter Zimmermann und Nicolaus A. Huber. 1997 war sie Stipendiatin der Akademie der Künste Berlin und erhielt den ersten Preis beim Internationalen Kompositionswettbewerb Biennale Neue Musik Hannover.
1998 folgte der Förderpreis des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen für junge Künstlerinnen und Künstler. Seitdem entwickelte sich eine Zusammenarbeit mit renommierten Ensembles wie dem Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, Trio Accanto, Thürmchen-Ensemble, Musikfabrik NRW, Ensemble Aventure, La Art pour la Art u.a. 2002 war sie Preisträgerin beim Kompositionswettbewerb des europäischen Musikfestivals 'Windrose' im Rahmen der Ruhrfestspiele.


Annäherung XIII

Barbara Heller
* 06.11.1936 in Ludwigshafen am Rhein
Barbara Heller was born into a family of restaurateurs in 1936 in Ludwigshafen on the Rhine. She studied music in Mannheim and Munich, and taught piano from 1958 to 1962 at the Mannheim College of Music. She studied composition under Hans Vogt (Mannheim) and Harald Genzmer (Munich). She won a scholarship to study in Sienna in 1963 (film music) and was awarded several scholarships of the “Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik” (International vacation courses for new music) in Darmstadt, where she has been living as freelance composer and pianist since 1963. From 1970 to 1975, she documented and archived the estate of the composer Hermann Heiß from Darmstadt, and was active as a member of the board of the “Institut für Neue Musik und Musikerziehung Darmstadt” (Institute for New Music and Musical Education) from 1986 to 1993.
As founding member and, at times, also member of the board of the “Internationaler Arbeitskreis Frau und Musik e.V.“ (Women in Music Germany), since 1978 she has dedicated herself to the works of forgotten female composers; research work, teaching and editing take up a lot of her time. She publishes the works of Fanny Hensel and of other contemporary female composers and, as solo pianist or member of a number of chamber-music groups she herself has founded, she lends her full support to performing their music. For her own compositions (piano, chamber music and songs), collaboration with the interpreters of her works is important. She loves to experiment and to interact with other arts, she is the driving force behind projects with female artists and actresses, composes music for films, creates tape-recorded compositions, sound installations and joint compositions. Her works, which may be notated traditionally or graphically, are increasingly characterised by openness and the love of experimentation, but they always challenge the improvisational imagination and the creativity of the interpreters. More and more, Barbara Heller is seeking closeness with nature – for her synonymous with the opening into a sound cosmos that will bring her into contact with the everlasting flow of existence. She lives and works alternately in Darmstadt, in the Odenwald forest and on the island of La Gomera. Her music is infused with a great richness of style, as well as an awareness of tradition as a basis for further development and musical experiments in the widest sense of the word. She expresses her poetical understanding of music in words: in song and in the music of sonorous diction. The majority of Barbara Heller´s works are published by the publishing house Furore Verlag.

More information about Barbara Heller


25 plus piano solo. 27 works by contemporary women composers
5 Stücke
Annäherung I - an sieben Komponistinnen.
Currants - Johannisbeeren
Das Quintenbuch
Drei Stücke für Flöte und Klavier
Eins für Zwei
Früher oder später
Furore - Ein Traum / Furore - A Dream
Hommage an Fanny Mendelssohn
Im Feuer ist mein Leben verbrannt
Kartenspiele/Playing Cards
La Palmera
Musik für Flöte solo
Nun sind die Kraniche längst im Süden
Selbstgespräch for clarinet, flute, englishhorn or alto recorder solo
Solo-Album for winds (or: Englischhorn Solo-Album)
Streichquartett 1958 (score and parts)
Streichquartett 1958 (parts)
Streichquartett 1958 (pocket score)
Tagebuch für Violine und Klavier
Variationen für Irith
Zwei Klavierstücke: Toccatina-Tonkette
pian é forte. Music for piano
„Wenn Töne auf Bananenstauden wachsen würden“ - Soli und Duette

Moya Henderson
* 02.08.1941 in Quirindl, Australien
Moya Henderson wurde 1941 in dem kleinen australischen Landstädtchen Quirindl im Staat Neusüdwales geboren. Den größten Teil ihrer Kindheit verbrachte sie jedoch in Geelong, Victoria, wo die Familie sich 1947 niedergelassen hatte. Im Alter von sechs Jahren bekam sie Klavierunterricht und als sie mit 17 Jahren das Internat in Melbourne verließ, war sie bereits eine perfekte Klavierspielerin und Sängerin.
Im Jahre 1960 trat Moya Henderson dem Sacre-Coeur-Orden bei, um Lehrerin zu werden. Diese Berufswahl unterbrach ihre musikalische Ausbildung für neun Jahre. Im Jahre 1970 begann sie schließlich ein Vollzeit-Studium im Fach Musik. Sie studierte Komposition bei dem führenden Komponisten Colin Brumby, und im Jahre 1972 verließ sie die Universität mit einem First-Class Honours Degree.


Annäherung V - an sieben Komponistinnen

Fanny Hensel, geb. Mendelssohn Bartholdy
* 14.11.1805 in Hamburg † 14.05.1847 in Berlin
Fanny Hensel grew up in a well-situated and highly cultured Berlin family. She and her younger brothers and sister Felix, Rebecca and Paul all received excellent education. The banker Abraham Mendelssohn Bartholdy and his wife Lea were quick to recognise Fanny's exceptional musical talent and, just like her brother Felix, she received instruction from the best music teachers available. In 1816, during a period of several months spent in Paris, the children studied piano with Marie Bigot de Morogues, who was a particular favourite of Haydn's and Beethoven's. After returning to Berlin they took lessons with the well-known Beethoven interpreter Ludwig Berger. Abraham Mendelssohn hired the conscientious Carl Friedrich Zelter, a friend of Goethe's and the director of the Berliner Singakademie, to teach his children music theory and composition. Fanny soon became known to the Mendelssohn's circle of friends and acquaintances not just as an excellent pianist but also as the composer of lieder and piano pieces. In an obituary written just after Fanny's sudden death, the Berlin music critic Ludwig Rellstab wrote that she had shared ”a partnership of talent” with her famous brother and “had achieved a level of musical knowledge which few other artists who have dedicated their lives to music could claim”.
While Felix's education included lengthy travels and he was able to try himself as a conductor and pianist and become acquainted with the famous musicians of the times, Fanny was faced with many restrictions. At the age of 14 her father reminded her to concentrate on her future role as a wife and mother. Her musical activities did not reach beyond the bounds of the Mendelssohn's circle: public concerts and the publication of musical works were not deemed to be womanly activities. As Jews who had converted to Protestantism the Mendelssohns were particularly eager to live according to bourgeois convention. Restricted to the domestic realm, the majority of Fanny Hensel's compositions were piano pieces and lieder which could be performed in the evening concerts held at the Mendelssohn's home. Works such as the Piano Quartet written in 1822 remain unusual for her work during this time. In an attempt to make her compositions known beyond the inner circle of family friends, in 1827 and 1830 she found opportunity to publish five lieder and a duet with piano accompaniment under Felix Mendelssohn's name in his Liederheften op. 8 and 9. She made presents of copies of her lieder and piano pieces to friends and acquaintances. Nevertheless, Fanny Hensel was able to reach at least a small circle of concert-goers by presenting her works in the ‘Sonntagsmusiken’ which were established during the early 1820s. In 1829, when Felix left home to embark upon his first extended trip to England, the "Sonntagsmusiken" were not continued. In the spring of 1831 Fanny, who had married the artist Wilhelm Hensel in October 1829, decided to reinstate these concerts. Fanny Hensel conducted and accompanied her choir which consisted of about twenty singers joined by instrumentalists who were friends of hers, high-level performances of oratorios, opera arias and chamber music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Weber and Mendelssohn. Here she was also able to make her own works known. These concerts became increasingly well attended over the years with Fanny presenting her works for piano solo, her lieder, duets, choral songs, the scene Hero and Leander for Soprano and Piano or Orchestra, the Piano Trio which appeared posthumously as op. 2 as well as the orchestral Ouverture of 1830, for the première of which the Orchestra of the Königstädter Theater was engaged. In addition to the friends and acquaintances who came to the "Sonntagsmusiken", quite a number of famous people attended: the Humboldt brothers, Franz Liszt, Clara Wieck-Schumann, Johanna Kinkel, Heinrich Heine etc. These concerts with which, according to Rellstab, Fanny Hensel “to whom we are much indebted, enriched the artistic life in our town”, made up for some of the restrictions she was forced to live with. Conducting such concerts had a positive effect on her work as a composer. In 1831, she composed larger works for soloists, choir and orchestra such as the cantatas Hiob and Lobgesang and an Oratorio. In 1839/40 the Hensel family was finally able to fulfil a long-standing wish: they spent a year travelling in Italy. This year was among the happiest in Fanny's life. In Italy she finally received recognition for her work beyond the family circle and became acquainted with various musicians who thought highly of her work and were supportive of her creativity. The young Charles Gounod, for example, wrote the following in his memories, “Mrs. Hensel was an extremely learned musician and played the piano very well. Despite her small, slight figure she was a woman of excellent intellect and full of energy that could be read in her deep, fiery eyes. Along with all this she was an extremely talented pianist...". After returning to Berlin, Fanny composed her most important piano work, the biographical cycle “Das Jahr”(1841). During the epoch in which she lived Fanny was the only composer to use the idea of depicting each of the twelve months of the year musically. She was not to carry through further publications of her works: Fanny Hensel died of a stroke suffered during a rehearsal for one of her “Sonntagsmusiken” on May 14th, 1847. Following the death of his sister, Felix Mendelssohn fell into a deep depression; he died suddenly on November 4th of the same year. Upon the request of his brother-in-law Wilhelm Hensel, he had arranged for several of Fanny's further works to be published. They appeared in 1850. In 1987, the Furore Verlag began publishing those of her works which had remained unprinted. Today Fanny Hensel born Mendelssohn is considered to be one of the most important composers of the romantic era.


2 Heine Duets a cappella
3 Goethe Duets
3 Heine Duets
Achmed an Irza
Eight Lieder for high voice on texts by Wilhelm Mueller
Eight Songs on poems by Wilhelm Müller for medium voice (mezzo-soprano/baritone) and piano
Adagio for Viola and Piano
Andante con moto in E (1846)
Andante-Klaviersätze und Notturno napolitano (F. Hensel piano pices Vol. 9)
Annäherung IV - an sieben Komponistinnen
Aria. Arias from Opera and Oratorio
Arie: „O daß ich tausend Zungen hätte“
Character Pieces (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 3)
Das Jahr (The year). A Piano Cycle (modern type-setted edition)
Das Jahr (The year) - 12 characterpieces for piano (1841)
Das Jahr (The year). The piano cycle arr. for orchestra
Das Jahr (The year). The piano cycle arr. for orchestra
Das Jahr. (März, Juni, Oktober, Nachspiel) (11’20)
Das Jahr. (März, Juni, Oktober, Nachspiel) (11’20)
Das Jahr (The year). A Piano Cycle. Facsimile of the illustrated fair copy
Drei Stücke zu vier Händen/Three character pieces
Duets vol. 1-5
Duets vol. 1: S/S with piano
Duets vol. 2: S/S with piano
Duets vol. 3: a cappella duets
Duets vol. 4: S/T with piano
Duets vol. 5: S/T (Baritone) with piano
Eichendorff a cappella
Faust II. Cantata
Faust II. Cantata (score)
Festspiel „Die Hochzeit kommt“ (score)
Fischers Klage
Early French Songs for voice and guitar
Early French songs for voice and piano
Early Piano Pieces Vol. 1: Easy Pieces (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 6)
Early Piano Pieces 2: Pieces of Medium Difficulty (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 7)
Fünf Terzette
Gartenlieder op. 3. Weltliche a-cappella Chöre von 1846
Hero und Leander (Soprano and Piano)
Hero und Leander
Hiob. Cantata (score)
Klaviermusik – Eine Auswahl
Piano Quartet (score and parts)
Piano Pieces 1821/1824 (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 10)
Piano Pieces 1828-1830 (piano pieces Vol. 8)
Lieder ohne Namen (1820-1844) Vol. 1: 1820-1827
Lieder ohne Namen (1820-1844) Vol. 2: 1828-1844
Liederkreis an Felix
Lobgesang. Cantata (vocal score)
Lobgesang. Cantata (score)
Lyrical Piano Pieces (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 1)
Miriam's Song (Volume 1)
Oratoria on words of the bible (score)
Wedding pieces for organ: Prelude F-Major, Postlude G-Major
Ouverture C-Dur
Sonate c-Moll und Sonatensatz E-Dur
Sonate g-Moll
String Quartet E flat major (score and parts)
Three Songs on texts by Lord Byron
Three Songs on texts by Lord Byron (Soprano and Piano)
Und wüssten’s die Blumen. Songs for voice and guitar
Four Piano Pieces 1823-1826 (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 11)
Vier Lieder ohne Worte op. 8
Virtuoso Piano Pieces (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 2)
Inspired by Goethe. Songs by women composers of the and Centuries
Waldruhe (choir score SAA )
Waldruhe (score)
Waldruhe. choir score ss/aa
Christmas Carols by Women Composers Vol. 3
Weltliche a-cappella Chöre von 1846 Vol. 1
Weltliche a-cappella Chöre von 1846 Vol. 2
Weltliche a-cappella Chöre von 1846 Vol. 3
Weltliche a-cappella Chöre von 1846 Vol. 4
Weltliche a-cappella Chöre von 1846 Vol. 5
Wo kommst du her? (Where do you come from?) Selected Songs
Zum Fest der Heiligen Caecilia (Choir score)
Zum Fest der Heiligen Caecilia (score)
Zum Fest der hlg. Caecilie arranged for soli, choir, winds and strings
Zum Fest der hlg. Caecilie arranged for soli, choir and strings
Zwei Bagatellen
for mascha. Organ solo
pian é forte. Music for piano
Etudes Vol. 1 (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 4)
Etudes Vol. 2 (F. Hensel piano pieces Vol. 5)

Muriel Emily Herbert
* 1897 in Sheffield † 1984
This English composer and piano pedagogue was born in Sheffield. Her father, Frederick William Herbert was a schoolmaster and later an insurance agent, her mother Emily Godefroy was an accomplished amateur singer with sound knowledge of the theory of music. Her father died when she was just twelve years old. Muriel started composing from a young age and was greatly encouraged by her older brother Percy, a fine pianist himself, and Hugh Farrie, a Liverpool man of substance. The Eng-lish 20th century composer Roger Quilter not only gave Muriel support and encouragement but also introduced her to his publisher, Augener, who first published her in 1922. She attended at the Royal College of Music (RCM), London, from 1917 to 1920 as a holder of the Liverpool scholarship. There she studied Composition and Piano under Charles Stanford, later she studied Double Bass under Claude Hobday. From January to April 1921 she re-enrolled at the RCM as a fee paying student. At the end of her studies she was awarded the ARCM in Piano teaching. Herbert was an avid reader of not only the English romantic literary classics but also of earlier and contemporary writers. She married Emile Delavenay in 1928, a French scholar, professor at the University of Nice and an official of the United Nations, with whom she had two daughters.
She was introduced to James Joyce who greatly liked her settings of his poetry to music. It was Joyce who encouraged her to submit her setting of Yeats’ poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” to Yeats for his approval. This he gave and the song became so popular in 1928 in Ireland that it is even listed in the Irish Traditional Music Archive in Dublin. Of her output of songs, of which there are more than ninety five in total, less than a dozen have been published. Her works for Violin and Orchestra are Enchanted Evening and Giboulee (conducted by Barbirolli). Towards the end of her teaching career, Muriel wrote two operas for schoolchildren: Come to the Zoo (1962) and Candy Floss (1964). Muriel’s style of writing is imaginative and varied, expressing text in colourful, appropriate ways and she draws frequently on the tonal language of French impressionism. Her craftsmanship presents the simple to the complex art song. Her accompaniments are refreshingly pianistic and well crafted, using dissonances only to underline life’s anguish and disharmonies expressed in the text. Muriel possesses a superb sensitivity to the relationships between music and text. Her songs are always well structured.


Christmas Carols by Women Composers Vol. 3

Augusta Holmès
* 16.12.1847 in Paris † 28.01.1903 in Paris
Holmès Augusta Mary-Anne {Patricia} [also composed under the pseudonym Hermann Zenta] 16.12.1847-18.1.1903 Besides for operas, sinfonic and sacred music, Augusta Holmès also composed salon pieces, e.g. this "gipsy-dream" with virtuosity, arpeggios and melodic sighs within the gipsy-scale.
Bei Furore: Salonstück für das Klavier, "Zigeunertraum": virtuos, in Arpeggien und melodischen Seufzern durch die Zigeunertonleiter. fue 143 ISMN: M-50012-043-8


Le Chateau du Rêve
Rêverie Tzigane
Christmas Carols by Women Composers Vol. 4

Adriana Hölszky
* 1953
No description available!
No description available!


Annäherung II - an sieben Komponistinnen

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


Annäherung VII - an sieben Komponistinnen

Elisabeth von Herzogenberg
* 13.04.1847 in Paris † 07.01.1892 in San Remo
Elisabeth von Herzogenberg, the third child of the Hanoverian Chamberlain Bodo, Baron of Stockhausen and his wife, Clothilde Annette, Countess of Baudissen, was born in Paris on 13 April 1847. She spent her youth in Vienna and received her first instruction in music theory and piano from the Protestant organist Theodor Dirzka, before starting her musical education in 1861 under Julius Epstein. In 1863, she was also taught for a short time by Johannes Brahms. She married the composer Heinrich von Herzogenberg (1843–1900) in Dresden on 26 November 1868, and moved with him to Graz, where both were active members of the Graz singing society. In 1872, they moved via Dresden to Leipzig, where Elisabeth assisted her husband in establishing and directing the Leipzig Bach society from 1875 onwards. Whilst living in the musical city of Leipzig, the Herzogenbergs became friends with key musical figures including Johannes Brahms, Clara Schumann, Joseph and Amalie Joachim and Philipp Spitta. In 1885, the couple moved to Berlin. A heart complaint from which Elisabeth had suffered for many years worsened, and she died at the age of just 44, on 7 January 1892, in San Remo (Italy), where she had apparently hoped that her condition would improve in the warmer climes. Elisabeth von Herzogenberg can be considered a true musician and artist in her own right, given her extensive work supporting and advising in the music scene.
Elisabeth von Herzogenberg’s entire musical estate has sadly been lost. All that is left (in printed form) is the song Nachklang [echo] , published under her husband’s name. It would appear that she set the sad words of Zu meinen Füßen sinkt ein Blatt [A leaf falls to my feet] by Ludwig Uhland to music upon the death of her father on 29 December 1884.