women composers

  1. Obscure Music Monday: Bonis' Piano Quartet No. 1

    We've previously taken a look at two works by Mélanie Hélène Bonis (Mel Bonis), her Suite en Trio and Sonata for Cello and Piano. If you're not familiar with Mel Bonis, make sure to take a look at those previous works to learn more about her. This week we take a look at her Piano Quartet No. 1, Op. 69...
  2. Obscure Music Monday: Backer Grøndahl's Norwegian Folksongs and Folkdances

    Agathe Ursula Backer Grøndahl (December 1, 1847 – June 4, 1907) was a Norwegian pianist and composer from a well-to-do family that supported the arts. Agathe and her three sisters all showed artistic talent. When Backer Grøndahl was 10, she moved with her family to the capital of Norway, Christiana (present-day Oslo) where she studied with Ludvig Mathias Lindeman and other...
  3. Obscure Music Monday: Schumann's Souvenir de Vienne

    Clara Schumann (Sept. 13, 1819 - May 20, 1896) was a German composer and pianist, born to musical parents in Leipzig. Her father was well-known throughout Leipzig, where he sold and repaired pianos, and gave piano lessons. She took lessons from him, and he also made sure she was educated in music theory, counterpoint, harmony, and composition. She had her first recital...
  4. Obscure Music Monday: Farrenc's Piano Quintet No. 1

    Louise Farrenc (May 31, 1804 - Sept. 15, 1875) was a French pianist, teacher, and composer. Born in Paris, she started the piano at an early age, and later on also showed a knack for composition. At the age of fifteen, her parents let her study composition with Anton Reicha at the Paris Conservatory. Later on she embarked upon a...
  5. Obscure Music Monday: Beach's By the Still Waters

    Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (Sept. 5, 1867 - December 27, 1944) was an American composer and pianist.  Extremely gifted from a young age, Beach's talents seemed to run in the family, with various members playing instruments or singing, and showing great aptitude for music. Beach was exceptionally talented, having learned 40 songs around the age of one, and at two...
  6. Obscure Music Monday: Menter's Petite Valse

    Sophie Menter (July 29, 1846 - Feb. 23, 1918) was a German pianist and composer, born to musical parents. At the age of fifteen she soloed with an orchestra, and her concertizing after that took her all around Germany and Switzerland. Menter would go on to be known for her interpretations of Franz Liszt's compositions, and she actually studied with...
  7. Obscure Music Monday: Boulanger's Psalm 24 "La terre appartient à l'Éternel"

    Marie-Juliette Olga "Lili" Boulanger (Aug. 21, 1893 - March 15, 1918) was a French composer, and  the younger sister of the famed composition teacher/composer Nadia Boulanger. Born in Paris, Lili Boulanger was a child prodigy; at the age of two, it was discovered that she had perfect pitch. Her parents, both musicians, encouraged her musical education, and she accompanied her sister Nadia...
  8. Obscure Music Monday: Bauer's Six Preludes

    Marion Bauer (Aug. 15, 1882 - Aug. 9, 1955) was an American composer, music critic, teacher, and writer. Born in Walla Walla, Washington, she was the youngest of seven children. Her father noticed her musical inclinations and she began studying piano  with her elder sister Emilie, who was 17 years older than her.  After finishing high school, Bauer traveled to...
  9. Obscure Music Monday: Farrenc's Violin Sonata No. 2

    Louise Farrenc (May 31, 1804 - Sept. 15, 1875) was a French pianist, teacher, and composer. Born in Paris, she started the piano at an early age, and later on also showed a knack for composition. At the age of fifteen, her parents let her study composition with Anton Reicha at the Paris Conservatory. Later on she embarked upon a...
  10. Obscure Music Monday: Chrétien's Nocturne

    Hedwige Chrétien (July 15 - 1859 - 1944) was a French composer, and not a great deal is known about her.  She studied at the Paris Conservatory with Ernest Guiraud starting in 1874, and became a professor there in 1889. While she was a student, she won several awards for piano, counterpoint, harmony, and fugue, and she would go on to...

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