March is Women’s History Month – commemorating and encouraging the study, observance, and celebration of the vital role of women in history. We honor and celebrate the vital role, contributions, achievements, and music of women throughout history. Each day this month, Music Theory Examples by Women will be highlighting a different women composer.
Check back each day for the latest honoree at the top of this page and scroll down to see some of the marvelous women who have shared their music with the world!
March 31st - Abbie Betinis
Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times) and “joyful… shattering, incandescent” (Boston Globe). A two-time McKnight Artist Fellow, and listed in NPR Music’s 100 Composers Under Forty, she was recently named Musical America’s Artist of the Month, with a feature article lauding her “contrapuntal vitality” and “her ability to use her talents to effect social change.” She has written over 80 commissioned pieces for world-class organizations, including the American Choral Directors Association, Cantus, Chorus Pro Musica, Dale Warland Singers, The Schubert Club, St. Olaf Choir, and Zeitgeist. She lives in Minnesota, where she is adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University-St Paul and co-founding executive director of Justice Choir. Source: https://www.abbiebetinis.com/biography.html
Abbie Betinis - Bar xizam (Upward I rise)
March 30th - Andrea Clearfield
Andrea Clearfield is an award-winning composer who has written more than 150 works for orchestra, opera, chorus, chamber ensemble, dance and multimedia collaborations. Clearfield creates deep, emotive musical languages that build cultural and artistic bridges. Recent works are inspired by Tibetan music fieldwork that she conducted in the Nepalese Himalaya. She was appointed the Steven R. Gerber Composer in Residence with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for their 2018-19 season. As a performer, she played keyboards with the Relâche Ensemble for 25 years and had the great honor of performing with the Court of the Dalai Lama. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Recording Academy/Grammy’s Philadelphia Chapter. A strong advocate for building community around the arts, she is founder and host of the renowned Salon featuring contemporary, classical, jazz, electronic, dance and world music since 1986. Source: https://www.andreaclearfield.com
Andrea Clearfield - Prayer to the Shechinah
March 29th - Gabriela Ortiz
Latin Grammy-nominated Gabriela Ortiz is one of the foremost composers in Mexico today and one of the most vibrant musicians emerging on the international scene. Her musical language achieves an extraordinary and expressive synthesis of tradition and the avant-garde by combining high art, folk music and jazz in novel, frequently refined and always personal ways. Her compositions are credited for being both entertaining and immediate as well as profound and sophisticated; she achieves a balance between highly organized structure and improvisatory spontaneity. Ortiz has written music for dance, theater and cinema, and has actively collaborated with poets, playwrights, and historians. Her creative process focuses on the connections between gender issues, social justice, environmental concerns and the burden of racism, as well as the phenomenon of multiculturality caused by globalization, technological development, and mass migrations. Source: https://www.gabrielaortiz.com/
Gabriela Ortiz - Antrópolis
March 28th - Graciela Paraskevaidis
Graciela Paraskevaídis was born in the city of Buenos Aires on April 1, 1940. She began her composition studies at the National Conservatory of Music under the directions of Professor Roberto García Morillo. She then studied composition with Wolfgang Fortner at the Institut für Neue Musik of the Musikhochschule Freiburg im Breisgau, until 1971. She worked as a professor, researcher, musicologist, and organizer of courses and festivals focused on diffusing Latin American contemporary music. Together with Max Nyffeler she founded the web portal www.latinoamerica-musica.net which publishes texts about music and musical life in Latin America, with an emphasis on the art music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Source: https://donne-uk.org/
Graciela Paraskevaidis - Contra la olvidacion
March 27th - Zenobia Powell Perry
Zenobia Powell Perry was a fascinating and prolific American composer, pianist, educator, and civil rights activist. She wrote songs, piano pieces, chamber works, an opera, and music for orchestra and symphonic wind band. She taught in a number of historically black colleges and universities and composed music with clear, classic melodies. Of African-American and Creek Indian descent, her unique life story is about perseverance and determination. Personal challenges weren’t enough to stop Perry from pursuing her dreams. Despite two divorces, the death of a son, and the challenges of raising a daughter on her own, she continued working towards advanced degrees while also working as a professor.
Zenobia Powell Perry - Flight
March 26th - Nina Richards
Nina Richards is a musical artist who makes music that is mostly electronic with analog synthesizers and the occasional guitars and vocals. Check out her work on her website: https://www.ninarichards.co.uk/
Nina Richards - Isolation (For Life)
March 25th - Rosephanye Powell
Dr. Rosephanye Powell has been hailed as one of America’s premier women composers of choral music. Dr. Powell is commissioned yearly to compose for university choruses, professional, community and church choirs, as well as secondary school choruses. Dr. Powell’s works have been conducted and premiered by nationally-renowned choral conductors, including, but not limited to, Anton Armstrong, Philip Brunelle, Bob Chilcott, Rodney Eichenberger, Tom Hall, Albert McNeil, Tim Seelig, Andre Thomas and Judith Willoughby. Her work has been auctioned by Chorus America and her compositions are in great demand at choral festivals around the country, frequently appearing on the regional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, as well as Honor Choir festivals. Source: https://www.singers.com/
Rosephanye Powell - Still I Rise
March 24th - Andrea Ramsey
Dr. Andrea Ramsey enjoys an international presence as a composer, conductor, scholar and music educator. Before leaping into full time composing and guest conducting, Andrea held positions at The Ohio State University and the University of Colorado Boulder, respectively. An award-winning composer with approximately 100 works to date, she believes strongly in the creation of new music. A native of Arkansas, Andrea has experienced in her own life the power of music to provide a sense of community, better understanding of our humanity and rich opportunities for self-discovery. Source: http://www.andrearamsey.com/
Andrea Ramsey - The Roof
March 23rd - Tania León
Tania León (b. Havana, Cuba), a vital personality on today’s music scene, is highly regarded as a composer and conductor and for her accomplishments as an educator and advisor to arts organizations. Recent commissions include works for New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, NDR Symphony Orchestra, Grossman Ensemble, International Contemporary Ensemble, and pianist Ursula Oppens with Cassatt String Quartet. She also frequently appears as a guest conductor around the world. A longtime resident of New York, she has played important roles at its institutions, such as the Dance Theater of Harlem, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra and its Sonidos de las Américas festivals, and the New York Philharmonic, which she served as New Music Advisor. Tania’s current appointments include Member of the Board of Directors, The MacDowell Colony; Vice President of the Music Division, American Academy of Arts and Letters; Founder & Artistic Director, Composers Now; and, most recently, Member of the Board of Directors, New York Philharmonic. Source: https://www.tanialeon.com/
Tania León - Project 19 Commission, “Stride”
March 22nd - Judith Weir
Judith Weir was born into a Scottish family in 1954, but grew up near London. After studying with John Tavener during her schooldays and her education at Cambridge University, she taught for several years in schools and adult education in rural southern England. During this time she began to write a series of operas that have received world-wide performances. The most recent opera is Miss Fortune, premiered at Bregenz in 2011, and then staged at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in 2012. As resident composer with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in the 1990s, she wrote several works for orchestra and chorus. In recent years, Judith Weir has considerably expanded her choral catalogue, with regular performance by choirs worldwide of music such as her Christmas carol Illuminare, Jerusalem written for Stephen Cleobury and the choir of King’s College Cambridge. In July 2014 Judith Weir was appointed to the 395-year old royal post of Master of the Queen’s Music, in succession to Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. In this role she has written music for national and royal occasions, including the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations and the UK’s official commemoration of the 1918 Armistice.
Judith Weir - Ascending into Heaven
March 21st - Shirley Thompson
The music of composer Shirley J. Thompson is performed and screened worldwide and often described as “superbe” (Le Figaro). A visionary artist and cultural activist, Thompson is the first woman in Europe to have composed and conducted a symphony within the last 40 years. New Nation Rising, She has composed extensively for TV/film, theatre, dance and opera production, always driven by the belief in the transformative power of music to affect social, cultural and political change an approach that has been unique in the genre. Thompson’s musical experience began with her playing the violin for various youth symphony orchestras in London, as well as choral singing with local choirs in Newham. After studying Musicology at the University of Liverpool and then specialising in Composition at Goldsmiths’ College, her first major commission came from the Greenwich International Festival. Source: http://thecanalesproject.org/
Shirley Thompson - Storytelling with the Power of Music
March 20th - Gwyneth Walker
Widely performed throughout the country, the music of American composer Dr. Gwyneth Walker is beloved by performers and audiences alike for its energy, beauty, reverence, drama, and humor. For nearly 30 years, she lived on a dairy farm in Braintree, Vermont. She now divides her time between her childhood hometown of New Canaan, Connecticut and the musical community of Randolph, Vermont. A composer since age two, Gwyneth Walker has always placed great value on active collaboration with musicians. Over the decades, she has traveled to many states to work with instrumental and choral ensembles, soloists, and educational institutions as they rehearse and perform her music. A number of these visits have developed into ongoing relationships. In 2018, Walker was named Composer-in-Residence for the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra in Petoskey, Michigan. Walker’s catalog includes over 350 commissioned works for orchestra, chamber ensembles, chorus, and solo voice.
Gwyneth Walker - Dazzling as the Sun
March 19th - Marianne von Martinez
To describe Marianne von Martinez (also known as Marianna Martines) as connected would be a great understatement. The Martinez family were mid-level members of the Austro-Hungarian aristocracy; the poet Metastasio was a close family friend, and for many years, the family lived in the same building as singing teacher/composer Nicola Popora and father of the symphony, Franz Joseph Haydn. Metastasio was the first to see musical potential in Marianne and secured music lessons for her from her well-known housemates. Never marrying, she was able to devote her life to the arts, remaining an active composer, performer, and patron until her death in 1812. As she was an accomplished singer, many of her works are for solo voice and accompaniment. That being said, she did champion compositions for larger ensembles as well, penning 2 oratorios, 4 masses, a keyboard concerto, and a symphony.
Marianne von Martinez - Overture ("Sinfonia") in C Major
March 18th - Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was the oldest child in a well-known family of German-Jewish intellectuals. During her life, her family converted to Lutheranism, though she continued to identify as culturally Jewish. She was particularly close with her younger brother, Felix. They pushed each other to new musical heights, actively critiquing each other’s works and assisting with performance. However, Felix adamantly opposed the publication of Fanny’s music, believing it to be unacceptable for a woman to make money off her musical talent. She acquiesced for a time, but later in life, she did begin to publish her music. Fanny was quite influential in the development of German salon culture, frequently performing her own works alongside those by Mozart, Handel, and Bach. She rarely performed in public. While most of her extant output is petite in nature (lieder, piano character pieces, etc.), she did compose some large-scale dramatic works. Very little of her music was published during her lifetime and musicologists are now coming to discover that a number of works previously attributed to Felix might well have been penned by Fanny! Her music is known for its intense lyricism as well as the neo-baroque compositional procedures used throughout; like her brother, she was very interested in music history (particularly the music of Bach).
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel - Piano Trio
March 17th - Undine Smith Moore
American composer Undine Smith Moore composed in a variety of different forms and genres, but is best known for her arrangements of spirituals and other choral compositions, and for her work as an educator. Moore was born in Jarratt, Virginia, and studied at Fisk University and Columbia University. From 1927 until her retirement in 1972, Moore was a beloved professor of music theory, piano, and organ at Virginia State College, where she also co-founded and co-directed the Black Music Center. Additionally, Moore served as a visiting professor for several colleges and universities. Moore’s original choral compositions are appropriate for use in liturgy and strongly connected with her religious faith. She was also a lover of spirituals, and began arranging them by transcribing melodies that she learned from her parents which her parents learned in childhood. In these arrangements, Moore excels at preserving the emotional intent that these songs originally held through rhythmic vitality and traditional melodies and harmonies. Source: https://www.vocalessence.org/
Undine Smith Moore - I Believe This is Jesus
March 16th - Carolina Eyck
Carolina Eyck, a German-Sorbian musician and composer, was introduced to the theremin by her parents at the age of 7. She took her first theremin lessons with Lydia Kavina. After her debut in the Berlin Philharmonie in 2002 she has been invited to concerts and festivals around the world. It was not long before she was known as one of the best theremin soloists worldwide. At the age of 16, Carolina developed a new precise playing technique, called the 8 finger position technique. She published the first extensive theremin method book entitled “The Art of Playing the Theremin” in 2006. With this technique the player is able to tune the theremin to their hand and rely on their finger positions, rather than correcting notes after they are audible. This method is now being used by thereminists around the world and has revolutionized how the instrument is played. Carolina regularly conducts workshops, lectures, and master classes worldwide.
Carolina Eyck - On Wings of Light and Time
March 15th - Margarita Luna
Margarita Luna was a composer, pianist, and organist from the Dominican Republic. Born in Santiago de los Caballeros, Luna de Espaillat began her studies under Juan Francisco García; later instructors included Manuel Antonio Rueda González, with whom she studied piano; Juan Urteaga, with whom she studied organ; and Manuel Simó, with whom she studied harmony, counterpoint, and fugue. From 1964 until 1967 she was a pupil of Hall Overton at the Juilliard School. For many years she was director of the National Conservatory of Music in the Dominican Republic. During her career Luna de Espaillat composed an oratorio, Vigilia eterna, and Elegie for choir, narrator, and orchestra, as well as chamber music and piano works. She also taught music history and theory. Her Cambiantes, which dates to 1969, is held to be the first dodecaphonic composition written by a Dominican composer.
March 14th - Luise Greger
Luise Greger was born in 1862 in Germany. Luise Greger began piano lessons at age 5 and became a child prodigy. She played for the Czar’s family in St. Petersburg at age 9 and began composing by the time she was 11 years old. While still in Berlin during the 1890s, Luise Greger was declared a composer by Richard Strauss. During the teens and 1920s, she continued to travel and give concerts. In the 1930s, upon turning 70, she gave concerts and taught singing lessons. For several decades, Luise Greger composed, wrote lyrics, gave music lessons, performed and directed at concerts and recitals, and was a welcome guest in the music salons of Germany.
Luise Greger - Heiliges Leid, Op. 95
March 13th - Meredith Monk
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance.” Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound, discovering and weaving together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words. Celebrated internationally, Ms. Monk’s work has been presented at major venues throughout the world. Source: https://www.meredithmonk.org/about/biography/
Meredith Monk - Elbphilharmonie Sessions
March 12th - Unsuk Chin
Unsuk Chin was born in 1961 in Seoul, South Korea. She studied with Sukhi Kang and György Ligeti and has lived in Berlin since 1988. Unsuk Chin’s acoustic and electronic works are performed worldwide by major orchestras, contemporary music ensembles, and interpreters. Chin has received many honours, including the Grawemeyer Award, Arnold Schoenberg prize, Prince Pierre Foundation Music Award, Wihuri Sibelius Prize, Kravis Prize as well as the 2021 Leonie Sonning Music Prize. In 2007, Chin’s first opera Alice in Wonderland was premièred at the Bavarian State Opera as the opening of the Munich Opera Festival In 2011, the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion Day at London’s Barbican Centre focused on her music. In 2012 Unsuk Chin was awarded the Ho-Am Prize, the most prestigious within the arts sector in Korea. Graffiti for chamber orchestra was composed for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel in 2013, a Clarinet Concerto was premiered by Kari Kriikku in 2014, Le Silence des Sirènes was commissioned by Roche for soprano Barbara Hannigan and the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle in 2014, and Mannequin for orchestra was premiered in 2015. Recent works include Chant des Enfants des Étoiles for choirs and orchestra, premiered within the inaugural events at the Lotte Concert Hall in Seoul in 2016, and Chorós Chordón was toured to the Far East in 2017 by the Berlin Philharmonic. Source: https://www.boosey.com/pages/cr/composer/composer_main?composerid=2754&ttype=BIOGRAPHY
Unsuk Chin - Festival Composer and Artist in Residence
March 11th - Elizabeth Parker
Elizabeth Parker is a British film and television composer who worked at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop from 1978 until the workshop’s closure in 1996. Classically trained in cello and piano, she graduated from the University of East Anglia with a degree in Music in 1973 and became UEA’s first recipient of a Masters degree in Electronic music in 1974. Her graduation piece was a Hilaire Belloc poem based purely on vocal sounds cut together using razor-blades and a reel-to-reel tape recorder. She was later awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University. Entering the BBC as a studio manager in 1975, she joined the Radiophonic Workshop in 1978 and, following in the steps of Delia Derbyshire, explored the creative use of sounds as music, fashioning many unique sonic experiments along the way. She worked at the RWS for 18 years until its closure in 1996. Source: https://www.elizabeth-parker.co.uk/
Elizabeth Parker - New Worlds
March 10th - Margaret Bonds
Margaret Bonds was a pianist and composer noted for her musical adaptations of Shakespeare and collaboration with Langston Hughes. Bonds was the first African American soloist to appear with the Chicago Symphony and played an important role in the development of twentieth century classical and musical theater. Perhaps most notable was her fruitful collaboration with the poet Langston Hughes. Bonds wrote a musical piece to accompany the Hughes poem “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” in 1941. This partnership lasted well into the 1950s and included several larger projects such as theatrical adaptations of some of Langston Hughes’s works. Bonds’s musical scores also featured the texts of other poets including pieces for W.E.B. Du Bois and Robert Frost. Throughout her career Bonds produced a wide range of work, spanning orchestral compositions, theatrical accompaniments, and traditional African American spiritual arrangements. She was the recipient of the Rosenwald Fellowship and a Rodman Wanamaker award for composition. Bonds was widely credited with creating new interest in traditional African American musical forms, history, and culture.
Margaret Bonds - Montgomery Variations
March 9th - Shulamit Ran
Shulamit Ran has been awarded most major honors given to composers in the U.S., including the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for her Symphony. Her music has been performed worldwide by leading ensembles including the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Israel Philharmonic, the New York Philharmonic, the American Composers Orchestra, the Mendelssohn, Brentano, Pacifica and Juilliard Quartets, Chanticleer, and many others. She served as Composer-in-Residence with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra between 1990 and 1997, and with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1994-1997 where her residency culminated in the much-acclaimed performance of her first opera Between Two Worlds (the Dybbuk). Ran, who is the Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor Emerita at the University of Chicago where she had taught since 1973, is currently composing Anne Frank, a full-scale opera on a libretto by Charles Kondek, to be premiered by the Indiana University Opera and Ballet Theater at the Jacob School of Music in 2020. The recipient of five honorary degrees, she is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Shulamit Ran - Soliloquy
March 8th - Ileana Pérez Velázquez
Ileana Perez Velázquez is a Cuban-born composer living in upstate NY. She is a Professor of Music Composition at Williams College, MA. The New York Times has praised the “imaginative strength and musical consistency” and the “otherworldly quality”of her compositions. Her music has been heard in concerts and international festivals in Cuba, the United States, and throughout South and Central America, Europe, China, and the Middle East. Ileana Perez Velázquez has written numerous acoustic and electroacoustic works that reveal the depth and scope of her artistic imagination. Often inspired by extra-musical stimuli—ranging from the poetic to the psychological, the natural to the supernatural—Velázquez writes music that, while challenging for both performer and listener alike, is deeply expressive; her music may be uncompromising in its demands, but it also remains intensely dramatic and poignantly evocative. Whether she is writing for acoustic instruments, for electronics only, or a combination of the two, her music is always powerfully communicative. Her rich harmonic language and rhythmically intricate, multi-layered textures reveal her debt to her Cuban heritage.
Spotify Album - A Cascade of Light In A Resonant Universe
March 7th - Keiko Fujiie
Keiko Fujiie, born in 1963 in Kyoto, is an award-winning composer whose music is frequently performed both in Japan and internationally. She is among the very few Japanese composers to have twice won the coveted Otaka Prize awarded by the NHK Symphony Orchestra. She is perhaps most well-known for her guitar compositions, many of them for the distinguished Japanese guitarist (also her husband) Kazuhito Yamashita. Fujiie composes for orchestra and choir and has also written chamber music and opera. One area of research interest is Gagaku, the ancient court music of Japan, and she also composes for Gagaku ensemble. Since 2001, a major focus for Fujiie has been organizing the guitar quintet Kazuhito Yamashita Family Quintet, for which she also composes. Kasane is their main repertoire and typifies the music of a bygone era. This quintet seeks to revive the quintessential and older musical traditions of both Europe and Japan when such music was known and valued.
NAGASAKI - Wilderness Mute (Natura Morta)
March 6th - Alice Coltrane
Alice Coltrane was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, singer, composer, swamini, and the wife of John Coltrane. Turiyasangitananda translates as the Transcendental Lord’s highest song of Bliss. Her interest in music blossomed in early childhood. By the age of nine, she played organ during services at Mount Olive Baptist church. In the early 60’s she began playing jazz as a professional in Detroit. Alice’s interest in gospel, classical, and jazz music led to the creation of her own innovative style. Her talents were expressed more fully when she became a solo recording artist. Her proficiency on keyboard, organ, and harp was remarkable. Later her natural musical artistry matured into amazing arrangements and compositions. Alice and John Coltrane married in 1965. Together they embarked on a deeply spiritual journey of musical exploration and forged a new genre of musical expression.
Alice Coltrane Plays Harp
March 5th - Kaija Saariaho
Kaija Saariaho is a prominent member of a group of Finnish artists who are making a worldwide impact. At the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM), she developed techniques of computer-assisted composition and acquired fluency in working on tape and with live electronics. This experience influenced her approach to writing for orchestra, with its emphasis on the shaping of dense masses of sound in slow transformations. From the late nineties on, Saariaho has turned to opera with outstanding success. Saariaho has claimed the major composing awards: Grawemeyer Award, Wihuri Prize, Nemmers Prize, Sonning Prize, Polar Music Prize. Saariaho has often talked about having a kind of synaesthesia, one that involves all of the senses, saying, “the visual and the musical world are one to me … Different senses, shades of colour, or textures and tones of light, even fragrances and sounds blend in my mind. They form a complete world in itself.”
Kaija Saariaho - Circle Map
March 4th - Julia Amanda Perry
Julia Amanda Perry was an American classical composer and teacher who combined European classical and neo-classical training with her African-American heritage. Some of Julia Perry’s early compositions are heavily influenced by African American music. Perry began branching out in her composition technique and experimenting with dissonance. One of her most notable works, Stabat Mater (1951), is composed for solo contralto and string orchestra.It incorporates dissonance, but remains within the classification of tonal music. Julia Perry’s early compositions focused mostly on works written for voice, however, she gradually began to write more instrumental compositions later in life. During her life, Perry completed 12 symphonies, two concertos, and three operas, in addition to numerous smaller pieces. In 1951, Julia Perry composed her Stabat Mater and dedicated it to her mother. It was the piece that launched her career.
Julia Amanda Perry - Stabat Mater
March 3rd - Anna Thorvaldsdottir
Anna Thorvaldsdottir is an Icelandic composer whose “seemingly boundless textural imagination” (NY Times) and “striking” (Guardian) sound world has made her “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). Her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material, and tends to evoke “a sense of place and personality” (NY Times) through a distinctive “combination of power and intimacy” (Gramophone). “Never less than fascinating”, according to Gramophone Magazine, it is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow. Anna’s music is widely performed internationally and has been commissioned by many of the world’s leading orchestras, ensembles, and arts organizations. Her works have been nominated and awarded on many occasions. Her new orchestral work CATAMORPHOSIS was premiered by the Berlin Philharmonic and Kirill Petrenko in January 2021.
Anna Thorvaldsdottir - CATAMORPHOSIS
March 2nd - Teresa Carreño
Teresa Carreño was a celebrated Venezuelan pianist, singer, and composer. Her immense talent was apparent from a young age when she first began her musical journey learning from her father, who quickly realized he would not be able to keep up with his daughter. She became a player of great power and spirit, known to her public as the “Valkyrie of the piano.” At the young age of nine years old, Carreño performed a series of concerts in New York and then Boston. As she continued her career, she filled the concert halls of Havana, London, and Paris. She composed at least 40 works for piano, two for voice and piano, two for choir and orchestra, and two pieces of chamber music. Her song ‘Tendeur’ was a hit in her time. By the age of 20, many of her compositions were published. Her compositions are remarkably complex and require a highly-skilled player like herself. Her music is filled with influence from her life experiences including the tragic loss of her father, the premature death of her children, and her failed marriages. Interestingly, the Venezuelan pianist has a crater on Venus named after her!
Teresa Carreño - Un reve en mer
March 1st - Florence Price
Florence Price was born into an African-American family in Little Rock, Arkansas. She studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston, then from the 1920s onwards lived in Chicago. Price holds the distinction of being the first black American woman to have an orchestral work performed by a major American orchestra following the performance of her Symphony in E minor by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1933. In addition to orchestral works, Price wrote piano and organ music, solo songs, and choral works. Price’s musical style often draws inspiration from spirituals, juba dance rhythms, the Harlem renaissance, and her southern and African-American cultural heritage. She continued to write music in both popular and classical styles throughout the rest of her life, all while maintaining an active piano studio.