Women composers A-Z
Josephine Lang
* 14.03.1815 in München † 02.12.1880
Josephine Lang (1815-1880) came from Münich where her father was a court musician and her mother an opera singer. Lang was composing songs by age 13, and was only 15 when she wrote the song presented here.
After meeting the young Lang in 1831, Mendelssohn wrote, 'She has the gift of composing songs and singing them as I have never heard before. It is the most complete musical joy I have ever experienced.' Lang responded to his enthusiasm by idolizing him. Robert Schumann wrote favorable reviews of her songs, including this one. Lang became a professional singer at the Münich court in 1836, but her career was cut short by marriage and a subsequent move to Tübingen in 1842. After her husband's death in 1856, Lang supported her family of six children by teaching voice and piano. Clara Schumann helped arrange for the publication of her Lieder. More than 150 were printed, establishing her as one of the most published women composers of the period. More than half of her songs date from the 1830s and 40s, and were influenced stylistically by Schubert, Schumann and Mendelssohn.


Annäherung X
Selected Songs
Inspired by Goethe. Songs by women composers of the and Centuries

Antje Lankafel
* 05.04.1965 in Ettingen
was born in 1965 at Ettlingen/Germany. She studied flute, theory of music and composition at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart. There she passed her concert exam in 1992.
She is winner of several prices: the Concours National de Musique/1981, the German youth competition 'Jugend musiziert'/1983 and the International Kuhlau Competition/1993. From 1995 on she has been teaching flute at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart. As a chambermusic-player specialised on German romantic music as well as French contemporary music she has been performing in numerous countries.


Flutwasser für flute solo

Luise Adolpha Le Beau
* 25.04.1850 in Rastatt † 02.07.1927 in Baden-Baden
Luise Adolpha Le Beau’s father, whose main occupation was as a member of the Baden War Office, took on the ambitious task of her education, starting with piano lessons when she was six years old. He also extended his pedagogical efforts to other subjects then generally taught in schools, with the result that Luise lived and learnt almost exclusively at home. The (spatially) close relationship with her parents was to continue until their deaths (1896 and 1900). A few teachers and key points in her artistic career are piano lessons with Johannes Kalliwoda, singing lessons with Ernst Melchior Sachs, composition studies with Josef Rheinberger in Munich, as well as encouragement from Hans von Bülow. She toured successfully as a pianist.
In her memoirs, written in 1910, she talks about a few unpleasant lessons with Clara Schumann. This is the autobiographical documentation of the conflicting relationship that then existed between social models and the personal desire for artistic development, a conflict with which Luise Adopha Le Beau had to contend in her capacity as female composer in the second half of the nineteenth century. Although numerous positive reviews of her works reveal a picture of a successful composer, in reality, she increasingly interpreted a lack of recognition as a whole as a personal setback and withdrew from public life. She made two copies of each of her works (some 150 compositions, including one opera) and deposited one copy of the complete works in Berlin and one in Munich.


Annäherung XIII
Canon op. 38
Drei Stücke für Viola mit Klavierbegleitung
Fantasie op. 25
Five Pieces for Violoncello and Piano
Konzert-Ouvertüre for orchestra
Sinfonie F-Dur, op. 41
Sonate für Violoncello und Klavier D-Dur op. 17
String quintet op. 54
Trio d-Major op. 15 (1877)

Franziska Lebrun
* 1756 in Danzig † 1791
Franziska (Dorothea) Lebrun, geborene Danzi, wurde in Mannheim geboren und am 24. März 1756 getauft. Ihre Eltern waren der Cellist Innozenz Danzi und seine Frau Barbara, eine Schwester Carl Joseph Toeschis; der Komponist und Cellist Franz Danzi (1763-1826) war ihr Bruder. Franziska Lebrun erlebte somit in ihrer Jugend ein reiches musikalisches und kulturelles Leben, das sie prägte und förderte.

Hope Lee
* 14.01.1953 in Taiwan
Hope Lee received formal music training at the McGill University in Montréal and at the Staatlich Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Germany as a recipient of a DAAD scholarship and a Canada Council Grant. Her main teachers in composition are Bengt Hambraeus, Brian Cherney and Klaus Huber. During this period, she also attended the Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik and the Durham 1979 Oriental Music Festival in England. While living in Berkeley, California, she studied Chinese traditional music and poetry, as well as computer music. Since 1990 Lee has been living and composing in Calgary, Alberta.
Hope Lee exploits instruments imaginatively and in unusual combinations, creating colourful and evocative sonorities. Born in Taiwan of mainland Chinese parents, she began studying piano at five and moved to Canada in 1967. Her ethnic and scientific background and her literary, philosophical and other interdisciplinary interests have greatly enriched her work. Aptly described by Michael Schulman as a “cross-cultural explorer,“ she is always exploring new sounds and structures, and striving for constant growth, both within individual works and in her output as a whole. Lee‘s work has been presented at international music festivals and can be heard on Centrediscs, Attacca, Aurait, SNE and UNICAL recording labels. Since 1979, Lee has researched into ancient Chinese poetry, music history, theory, and in particular the ideology, philosophy and notation of guquin (Chinese 7-string zither) music. The knowledge absorbed and material collected have integrated and become an important part of her creative voice and up-to-date, she has completed nine pieces in a projected eleven-pieces cycle: The complete catalogue of Lee's works is published by Furore-Verlag in Germany.

More information about Hope Lee

Link to the Canadian Music Centre "Hope Lee is achieving a milestone – her 60th birthday. I have known her for perhaps half of those years and, over the course of that time frame, I have been blessed to witness her personal and artistic development. Personal enhancement is only possible if the family environment is anchored. She has been surrounded by her wonderfully talented husband David Eagle, her beautiful daughter Claire, her supportive pleasant mother and the rest of her extended family. Hope Lee is the centre-piece in a loving, caring environment. She is at peace with the universe, and her music and philosophy reflect her awareness and sensitivity to ubiquity, yesterday, today and tomorrow. Large scale cyclical works such as Voices in Time with In the Beginning was the End for harpsichord and accordion, evolve through the galaxies until resolution in the final piece And the End is the Beginning for solo accordion. Her choice of instruments is precise, reflecting personalities individualized through colour, and texture, designed precisely to support movement in space and time. She chiseled her subject matter into miniatures that are cemented in a kaleidoscope of transformations, seeking attachment to other delineated sound sources. The development of her material is organized and controlled by her immense imagination viewed under a microscope, surgically manipulated with careful precision, thereby achieving a magnificent language and voice truly her own. In this massive cycle Voices in Time, one of an extensive compositional catalogue, she reveals her inspiration and I quote her: “The work is based on a central concept in Chinese philosophy that ‘heaven, earth and men are one’; music is a reflection of nature and is able to transform human feelings in time . . . each sound interacts with the ensemble and is transformed throughout, connecting one’s aural sense, stimulated by the sounds of nature from the outer world, to one’s inner sensibility represented by the instrumental sounds...the aural transformation of sound suggests emotional territories, whether innocence, longing for the unattainable, suffering for the forever lost. . . It is a song of all voices, yours and mine, present and past.” Hope Lee’s voice is a discriminating one, complex and personal, truly significant, revealing an important, unique Canadian composer. Hope – Happy Birthday." -Joseph Macerollo O.C. More about Hope Lee here Foto: Neil Spears


Across the veiled distances
And the end is the beginning
Arrow of being, arrow of becoming
Ballad of endless woe
Ballad of endless woe for vocal quartet and percussion ensemble
Ballad of endless woe for vocal quartet and percussion ensemble
Days beyond
Duo Solista
Fei Yang
Flake upon Flake upon...
Flower Drum Dance
Four Winds from Heaven
Hsieh Lu Hsing
Imaginary Garden I. snow-in-summer
Imaginary Garden III. dancing cosmos in autumn wind
Imaginary Garden IV Version B ...beyond (VL&Vc)
Imaginary Garden V. renewed at every glance 2016 (16‘)
Imaginary Garden VII ... until another year another bloom ... (Fl,Vl,Vc,Pf)
In a mirror of light
In the beginning was the end
Jygge-Somebody’s & Nobody’s
March3rd, 1911
No word no whisper no cry
Onomatopoeia: Chan Chan for string orchestra
Onomatopoeia: Chan Chan for string orchestra
Onomatopoeia: Jia Yuan
Onomatopoeia: Tiáo Tiáo
Parting at Yang Kuan for ensemble
Prelude to ‘and the end is the beginning’
Rubbing Stone for alto saxophone
Secret of the Seven Stars
Secret of the Seven Stars (score)
Shadows of an Uncounted Journey
Shadows of an Uncounted Journey II
Voices in Time
Voices in Time
Voices in Time
entends, entends la passé qui marche...
flashing into the dark
forever after
gently rings in autumn wind
o som do desassossego … reflection on recollection
pian é forte. Music for piano
von einem fremden stern
„....I, Laika....“

Isabella Leonarda
* 06.09.1620 † 25.02.1704
In northern Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a good deal of music was composed by women. One of the most productive composers was the noblewoman Isabella Leonarda. She left almost 200 compositions in 20 volumes including mostly sacred vocal music such as motets for soloist and continuo as well as a mass for soloists, choir, strings and continuo.
Her only purely instrumental opus is no. 16 which is made up of the 12 sonate da chiesa. These works were used in the celebration of the Catholic Mass. Why did a 73-year-old woman nun and composer, La Sorella Isabella, diverge from her usual compositional habits (the composition of vocal music) and start to write a new kind of music? We will never know, but maybe she was encouraged by the honour accorded to her by the church when she became Madre Vicaria of her convent. The sonatas were written in the same year that she was named to that office. (In the original edition the words Con licenza de Superiori can be found, meaning that the church had permitted these works to be written!) The Opus 16 sonatas are among the first instrumental pieces written by a woman. This fact was probably not known to Isabella Leonarda herself. Perhaps the composer was interested in writing music without texts as a contrast to all her vocal works, or maybe she was just eager to try out the "new" trio sonata style? Compared with contemporary composers (e.g. Corelli) her sonatas are longer, sometimes containing six movements rather than the usual four. She was also more generous than some with modulations, using a large number of related keys within the same sonata. Leonarda was born on the 6 September, 1620 in Novara and at the age of 16 she entered the convent Collegio di Sant Orsola. In 1686 she became Madre Superior of this convent and in 1693 Madre Vicaria. This convent was closed in 1811. In the 17th century it was a kind of teaching school for girls, the curriculum of which certainly included music. It is not known who taught Leonarda to compose, but in his Dizionario Ricordi della Musica e di Musicisti (Ricordi, Milan, 1959) Sartori makes the assumption that the Maestro di Capella of the Novara Cathedral, Gasparo Casati was her teacher. Her first composition appears in a printed work which he published around 1640. This was a common way for first works of composers to be presented to the public at the time. The French music lover and collector Sebastien de Brossard (1655-1730) knew Leonarda's music well and appreciated it especially. This is documented by him in Catalogue des livres de musique theorique et pratique (Paris, 1724). Considering her large compositional production, Isabella Leonarda has been almost fully ignored by today's musicians, music students and music scholars. However, given a chance to hear it, many people discover the creative force of her music. Literature: Bowers -Tick: Women making music, the Western Art Tradition 1150-1950, MacMillan Press, 1986 Caldwell, J : Editing Early Music, Early Music series 5, Clarendon Press, 1985 Carter, Stewart Arlen: The Music of Isabella Leonarda, Diss. 1982 ,Stanford University Pendle, K : Women & Music, A History, Indiana University Press, 1991


Annäherung VIII - an sieben Komponistinnen
Selected bass motets
Iam diu dilecte mi Jesu. Motet from op. 20 (1700)
Sonate Nr. 1 op. 16
Sonate Nr. 12 op. 16

Helene Liebmann
* 1796
Riese, was a German pianist and composer. She was a child prodigy in both activities. Aged ten, she gave a concert in her home town of Berlin, astonishing the audience, who acclaimed her as a brilliant pianist. Her Piano Sonata Opus 1 was published when she was 15. She was born in Berlin and studied with Clementi's pupil Franz Lauska.
According to the dedications on her Op 11, and 12, she later studied with Ferdinand Ries, a former Beethoven pupil. Sometime around 1814 she married, and used her married name on publications after that. It is thought that she and her husband moved first to Vienna and then London in about 1816. No information about whether she continued to compose after 1819 is available; the next reference to her is in Clara Wieck's (the future Clara Schumann) diary, stating that Liebmann was present at a Hamburg concert of Clara's in 1835. Liebmann's published works include two sets of songs, several sonatas, variations and miscellaneous piano works, two violin sonatas, two piano trios and one piano quartet - the piano is in all her works. They are mostly dedicated to teachers and family members; much of her music is available in library collections and in the archives of her principal publisher C. F. Peters. The Piano Sonatas Ops 1 and 2 received a lengthy review in an 1811 issue of the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung. The reviewer declared his dread in anticipation of finding "ladies" music, a weak imitation of that written by men, but immediately stated that the music warranted comparison with the early compositions of the great masters. He specially commended the nobility in the first movement of her Op 1, and the inventiveness and brilliance of its concluding Variations. The same review also lavished praise on the composer's Op 4 Kennst du das Land? - a setting from Goethe's Wilhelm Meister. The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung also later published favourable reviews of her Violin Sonata Op 9 and the two piano trios, recommending them as providing enjoyable entertainment for both performers and listeners. Her musical style owes much to Mozart and Haydn. See also Von Goethe inspiriert gleichnamiger Notenband und CD auf CD: siehe CD


Miriam's Song (Volume 2)
Sonate pour Piano et Violoncelle op. 11
Inspired by Goethe. Songs by women composers of the and Centuries

Meng-Chia Lin
* 1978 in Changhua, Taiwan
The woman composer, pianist and bamboo flute player Meng-Chia Lin was born in Taiwan. She completed her piano and composition studies at the Musikhochschule in Freiburg and at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover and electronic composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne. Her works are performed in Germany, France, Austria, China, Taiwan and the USA, including at festivals in Donaueschingen, Witten, Berlin MärzMusik (Berlin March music), ZKM Karlsruhe and Acht Brücken (eight bridges) Cologne.
Her works range from solo pieces to ensemble pieces. Her versatile oeuvre is characterized by compositions in the fields of electro-acoustic music, film music, dance, theater, radio drama and musical theater. Currently she works as a freelance artist in Cologne.


Bu-Kiap for flute, oboe and bassoon
Rondo Divertimento

Josephine Lorenziti
Josephine Lorenziti dates unknown Biography Josephine Lorenziti was singer, pianist, and composer. Her father Joseph Lorenziti (died 1764) was leader of the musical chapel of Prince Karl-August of Nassau-Weilburg in Kirchheim unter Teck, and her three brothers were active as musicians and composers as well. Particularly well10 known was her brother Bernard, who was a violin player in the orchestra of the Paris opera.
She published several compositions around 1800 in Paris, among them the Six Romances for voice and piano, Trois Grandes Sonates op. 3 for piano, the Première Fantaisie op. 6 for piano, Trois Trios for piano, violin and viola, as well as the L’Avare cache sa richesse, Canzonette espagnole du Don Quichotte de Florian.


L‘amour et le printemps. Songs around 1800

Camille van Lunen
* 25.11.1957 in Amsterdam
The Dutch/French composer and soprano Camille van Lunen was born in Amsterdamis an eclectic composer, not adhering rigidly to a single school but drawing rather upon multiple influences and ideas to gain complementary insights into her subjects. Whilst respecting many conventions of compositional form and technique, she is not afraid to explore unusual combinations of voices and instruments in her search for dramatic immediacy.
Camille van Lunen is the winner of the International Competition for Women Composers of the Hochschule für Musik Nuremberg and the Mariann Steegmann Foundation 2013.
Van Lunen's experience as a singer is reflected in her own vivid writing for both solo voice (in the songs and operas) and in her choral works. Both illustrate her strong dramatic instinct and sensitivity to French, English and German texts, reflecting her own polyglot background. A very practical composer, Camille van Lunen has responded to a wide variety of commissions to produce works of great originality and in a highly distinctive style, ranging from The Rock Boy (Leverkusen, 2005) for young people to O Mare Nostrum (Acht Brücken Festival Köln, 2016), an adaptation of her prize-winning O Sacrum Convivium which gives a voice to recently-arrived refugees in Cologne. A lively wit characterises much of her chamber music, as in the humorous wind quintet Entgleist (2006) and the Songs of the British Isles (2008). Her works are both demanding and rewarding for performers and audiences alike. Hers is very much a voice for today.
More information about Camille van Lunen


A Shakespeare Cycle of Scenic Songs
Aria. Arias from Opera and Oratorio
Aus Liebe und luftigem Traum
Caprice for violin solo
The Coat (Der Mantel)
Der Turm der blauen Esel
Entgleist op. 33 (3,45’) for wind quintet
Flautato dal mattino alla notte
Ich ließ dir mein Kleid zurück aus Sonnengefieder
Lorelei - gestrandet
O Sacrum Convivium (choir score)
O Sacrum Convivium (soloist score)
O Sacrum Convivium (soloist score)
Quatuor pour l’Aurore des Temps 2016 (16’)
Songs of the British Isles
Star over Amsterdam
Star over Amsterdam
String quartet No. 1 op. 43 (16’30)
Triptych for organ
Variationen for flute on kurdish folk songs
Weihnachten verwundert