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 two female classical composers whose works I have encountered, with links to music samples for each of them.
Barbara Strozzi was an Italian Baroque composer. (died 1977)
She was lucky for her time, as her encouraged her musical ambition. She wrote for voice.
Find info on her compositions here.
Betsy Jolas is a modern French composer. (born 1926)
Sally Beamish is a modern British composer of chamber, vocal, choral and orchestral music as well as works for
musical theatre, film and television. (born 1956)
Rebecca Clarke was an English composer. (died 1979)
Her work did not receive the recognition then that it does today and was largely forgotten until the 1970s.
Find info on her here.
Cécile Chaminade was a French composer. (died 1944)
She learned piano early in her childhood but her father disapproved of her musical education so she had to continue her studies privately. Her own compositions were very popular in her day.
Marion Bauer was an American composer. (died 1955)
She wrote at least 160 compositions.
Tera de Marez Oyens was a Dutch composer who wrote over 200 works of music. (died 1996)
Alma Mahler was an Austrian-American composer. Seventeen songs by her survive. (died 1964)