As is the case with all too many things historical, the talent of women composers is underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them women wrote, and continue to write, exceptional classical music that can be enjoyed today. They deserve more exposure, so it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.
Below are four female classical composers whose works I enjoy, with links to songs for each of them.
Margaret Bonds (March 3, 1913 – April 26, 1972) was an African American composer and pianist. She is remembered for working with one of my favourite poets, Langston Hughes.
Jean Coulthard (February 10, 1908 – March 9, 2000) was a Canadian composer and part of a trio of women composers that included Barbara Pentland and Violet Archer.
Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre (March 17, 1665 – June 27, 1729) was a well known French harpsichordist and composer in her time.
Els Aarne (March 30, 1917 – June 14, 1995) was an Estonian composer and pedagogue.