Tuesday, April 6, 2010

1200 Years of Women Composers: From Hildegard To Higdon

Das Ewig Weibliche
Zieht uns hinan.
(The eternal feminine
leads us upwards.)

Kassia (c.810–before 867)
Blessed Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
Caterina Assandra (1580–1632)
Francesca Caccini (1587–1640?)
Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana (1590–1662)
Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602–1678)
Sulpitia Cesis (fl. 1619)
Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677)
Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre (1665–1729)
Anna Bon (born 1738/1739)
Maria Theresa Paradis (1759–1824)
Maria Agata Szymanowska (1789–1831)
Louise Farrenc (1804–1875)
Fanny Mendelssohn (1805–1847)
Josephine Lang (1815–1880)
Clara Schumann (1819–1896)
Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska (1834–1861)
Alice Mary Smith (1839–1884)
Agathe Backer Grøndahl (1847–1907)
Augusta Holmès (1847–1903)
Teresa Carreño (1853–1917)
Maude Valérie White (1855–1937)
Cécile Chaminade (1857–1944)
Guy d'Hardelot (1858–1936)
Ethel Smyth (1858–1944)
Amy Woodforde-Finden (1860–1919)
Liza Lehmann (1862–1918)
Alice Tegnér (1864–1943)
Amy Beach (1867–1944)
Henriette Renié (1875-1956)
Alma Mahler (1879–1964)
Poldowski (1879–1932)
Marion Bauer (1882–1955)
May Brahe (1884–1956)
Nadia Boulanger (1887–1979)
Florence Beatrice Price (1888-1953)
Katherine K. Davis (1892-1980)
Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983)
Lili Boulanger (1893–1918)
Henriëtte Bosmans (1895–1952)
Ruth Crawford Seeger (1901–1953)
Sophie Carmen Eckhardt-Gramatté (1901–1974)
Claude Arrieu (1903-1990)
Elizabeth Poston (1905–1987)
Elisabeth Lutyens (1906–1983)
Louise Talma (1906–1996)
Grace Williams (1906–1977)
Imogen Holst (1907–1984)
Elizabeth Maconchy (1907–1994)
Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–1969)
Minna Keal (1909-1999)
Ljubica Marić (1909–2003)
Barbara Pentland (1912–2000)
Violet Archer (1913–2000)
Margaret Allison Bonds (1913–1972)
Vitezslava Kapralova (1915-1940)
Joan Trimble (1915–2000)
Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006)
Jeanne Demessieux (1921–1968)
Doreen Carwithen (1922–2003)
Jean Eichelberger Ivey (born 1923)
Tatyana Nikolayeva (1924–1993)
Ruth Schonthal (1924–2006)
Erzsébet Szőnyi (born 1924)
Emma Lou Diemer (born 1927)
Ruth Anderson (born 1928)
Thea Musgrave (born 1928)
Lucia Dlugoszewski (1931–2000)
Sofia Gubaidulina (born 1931)
Pauline Oliveros (born 1932)
Kazuko Hara (born 1935)
Keiko Abe (born 1937)
Diana McIntosh (born 1937)
Gloria Coates (born 1938)
Joan Tower (born 1938)
Annea Lockwood (born 1939)
Ellen Zwilich (born 1939)
Kay Gardner (1941–2002)
Meredith Monk (born 1942)
Maryanne Amacher (1943-2009)
Tania León (born 1943)
Rhian Samuel (born 1944)
Elizabeth Raum (born 1945)
Barbara Benary (born 1946)
Marilyn Shrude (born 1946)
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh (born 1947)
Nicola LeFanu (born 1947)
Diana Burrell (born 1948)
Bernadette Speach (born 1948)
Alexina Louie (born 1949)
Beth Anderson (born 1950)
Elena Firsova (born 1950)
Libby Larsen (born 1950)
Elodie Lauten (born 1950)
Pamela St. John (born 1950)
Lois V Vierk (born 1951)
Judith Bingham (born 1952)
Kaija Saariaho (born 1952)
Chen Yi (born 1953)
Anne LeBaron (born 1953)
Bun-Ching Lam (born 1954)
Sally Beamish (born 1956)
Chaya Czernowin (born 1957)
Linda Bouchard (born 1957)
Ellen Fullman (born 1957)
Karin Rehnqvist (born 1957)
Eve Beglarian (born 1958)
Hilda Paredes (born 1959)
Annie Gosfield (born 1960)
Unsuk Chin (born 1961)
Jennifer Higdon (born 1962)
Isabel Mundry (born 1963)
Augusta Read Thomas (born 1964)
Olga Neuwirth (born 1968)
Roxanna Panufnik (born 1968)
Misato Mochizuki  (born 1969)
Helena Tulvea (born 1972)
Lera Auerbach (born 1973)

This is the Spotify playlist that features all the 116 composers listed above: 1200 Years of Women Composers. (1012 tracks, 3.7 days) Sorted by the birth years of the composers. It's a Spotify anthology of women composers, as well as a brief history of western classical music. It's really fascinating to hear music constantly reinventing itself from the monophonic and deeply spiritual medieval chant of Hildegard all the way into Higdon's lush and ultra-modern percussion concerto. This is my personal favourite playlist so far, hope you enjoy it too;)

If you appreciate what women and music brought to this world, please help to spread the word about this post, by retweeting this in twitter, sharing in your blog, facebook, google reader or via email. After all, it is the feminine side of mankind, I believe, that gives us the beautiful things in life.


  1. A good read: Women Composers in
    Byzantium http://www.hellenicnest.com/womencomp.html

  2. Thank you! A really nice project and a great playlist, although with some notable omissions, such as Rebecca Clarke and Dora Pejacevic.

  3. please don't forget louise talma's great friend and neighbor, Miriam gideon

  4. for some reason this playlist is not searchable by name within spotify playlists?

  5. I just tried to search for it, too, AcornLED. I even copied/pasted the title and it didn't come up :(

  6. How do I find this playlist to add it to my playlists?

  7. It's called Women of Classical.

  8. Just been alerted to this list on Twitter, and wanted to thank you. Looking forward to uncovering some underrated gems!

  9. Classical fans! If you appreciate the music women have brought to this world, please log in to the Spotify Community and add your voice to the 1,400+ people asking Spotify to SHOW THE COMPOSER'S NAME on every track.


    Finding music by women is hard enough -- and made so much harder when composers' names are not displayed.

    Please log in and give 'Kudos' to my petition there.

    A Composer (who happens to be a woman)

  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rika_Muranaka Why no love for Rika? Composer of various songs from the wildly popular Metal Gear Solid series

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  15. Hey you,
    great article! We have recorded some women composers in the last decade, have a listen and add it to your playlists :) Everyone of them is still living :)

    Tina Ternes: Windspiel (game of the wind)

    Ewelina Nowicka: Jongleurs

    Hollis Taylor: Fast Forward:

    Dorothea Mader: Pas de deux

    Rebecca Czech: Ich glaub es gibt Regen ( I think it is gonna rain).

    Thank you and keep on!!

  16. Indeed! And Maria Bach! Check it out: https://youtu.be/Ln3J2ybpq1A

  17. This is the playlist

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