Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet Of The War

To help celebrate today The United Nations “International Day of the Girl”, The Violin Channel, in collaboration with our good friends from Dallas Symphony Orchestra, is hosting a special all-day online festival dedicated to gender equality and inspiring the next generation of women in classical music.

In the spirit of celebrating the contribution of women to classical music, we share vignettes from a small cross section of composers, performers, educators and activists who have shaped the field, musically and otherwise.

Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)

Hildegard, also known as Saint Hildegard and the Rhine Sibyl, is one of the earliest known composers in the history of Western art music. She was a Benedictine nun who lived in a hilltop monastery, writing poems and songs for her nuns, many of which were popularized 800 years after her death. One of his remarkable works is “Symphonia armonie celestium Révolutionum”, a collection of 77 of his lyrical poems set to music. In addition, deviating from the conventional behavior of women at the time, she traveled extensively throughout Germany and evangelized large groups of people.

Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet of the War (1665-1729)

De la Guerre was a French Baroque composer, harpsichordist and organist at the court of Louis XIV for a time. Born into a family of musicians, she was the first woman to compose an opera in France – “Cephalus and Procris”, written in 1694. She is remembered for her chamber music for harpsichord and violin, influenced by both by French and Italian. baroque styles.

Ethel Smyth (1858-1944)

Smyth was a 20th century British composer known for championing the rights of women and musicians. She has written symphonies, operas and other choral works, including “The March of Women,” a hymn on women’s suffrage. The play was written in 1911 when Smyth took two years off from her music career to focus on fighting for women’s rights. The following year, Smyth was one of 100 suffragists arrested in London for throwing stones at the houses of suffrage opponents. She was imprisoned for two months. While there, she gave a performance of “The Women’s March”, which she conducted with her toothbrush. She was named Lady of the British Empire in 1922.

Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979)

Clarke was a British classical composer and viola virtuoso who went on to become one of the first professional female orchestral players. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music in London, but moved to the United States at the start of World War II. At the turn of the 20th century, Clarke performed his viola piece “Morpheus” at Carnegie Hall – but his publisher made him publish the piece under the pseudonym “Anthony Trent”. Clarke would continue to use the pseudonym when she wrote her viola sonata, now one of her most performed pieces, at the Berkshire Musical Festival, where she lost to Ernest Bloch via a deciding vote. In 2000, the Rebecca Clarke Society was established to promote the study and performance of her music.

Florence Prize (1887-1953)

Price, composer and classical pianist, graduated as a major in her class at age 14. She then attended the New England Conservatory – her mother told the school that Price was of Mexican descent in order to minimize the prejudices she would face as a black woman at the institution. – and obtained a double diploma in organ and piano interpretation. From 1910 to 1912 Price taught and headed the music department at present-day Clark Atlanta University. In 1933, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiered Price’s Symphony in E minor, making his piece the first composition of a black woman to be performed by a large orchestra.

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979)

Boulanger was a French conductor, music teacher, pianist and organist. During her seven-decade teaching career, she influenced generations of young composers, including Elliott Carter, Aaron Copland, Daniel Barenboim, and Astor Piazzolla. She has worked in institutions such as the Juilliard School, Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal Academy of Music, although she is based in Paris. Boulanger was also the first woman to conduct several major orchestras in the United States and Europe, including the BBC Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Hallé and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Martha Argerich (1941-)

Argerich is an Argentinian Swiss concert pianist widely regarded as one of the best pianists of all time. She rose to prominence after winning the VII International Chopin Competition in 1965 and, later the same year, performing at the Great Performers Series at Lincoln Center. She has won three Grammy Awards, the Praemium Imperiale for Music from the Japan Art Association and a Kennedy Center Honor, among other accolades. Argerich is particularly known for her recordings and performances of chamber music, especially works by Messiaen, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff. She has often said in interviews that she felt “alone” on stage during solo performances.

Tania León (1943-)

Born in Havana, León is a Cuban-American composer and conductor who won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Music for her orchestral composition “Stride” – commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for the centenary of the Suffrage Amendment women. León has also received Grammy and Latin Grammy nominations for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, among many other accolades, and has appeared as a guest conductor around the world. León has performed prominent roles at the Dance Theater of Harlem, the American Composers Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic, among other ensembles. She is currently the Founder and Artistic Director of Composers Now, a New York-based nonprofit that celebrates the diversity of the city’s composers.

Laurie Anderson (1947-)

Anderson is an avant-garde American artist, violinist, composer and director who was one of the first to blend performance art, multimedia projects and pop music. She is a pioneer of electronic music – in 1977 she created a ribbon bow violin, where she replaced the bow hair with a recorded magnetic tape and placed a magnetic tape head in the bridge. Anderson also created an instrument that she called a “talking stick,” which is a MIDI controller with the ability to access and play back sounds. Much of her work focused on language, technology, and the visual arts, as she was also trained in sculpture.

Deborah Borda (1949-)

In 1991, Borda became the executive director of the New York Philharmonic – the first woman to preside over the administration of a major symphony orchestra in the United States. Since then, Borda has helped conduct the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and the Avery Fisher Artist Program. Currently, she is CEO of the New York Philharmonic. Some of the initiatives she has led include the NY Phil Bandwagon, a pull-up concert series featuring philharmonic musicians in concert alongside a pickup truck through New York City, and Project 19, the largest commissioned project by women composers in history in honor of the centenary of women’s suffrage.

Marin Alsop (1956-)

Alsop is a conductor who became the first woman to conduct a major American orchestra when she was appointed Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2007, a position she still holds today. She is also conductor of the Ravinia Festival and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, where she is also the first woman to hold this position. She has received numerous honors, including 2003 Gramophone Artist of the Year, and was also the first conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship. Earlier this year, she appeared in a documentary “The Conductor”.

Midori (1971-)

Midori is a concert violinist, activist and educator who aims to break away from traditional boundaries and is known for her intimate expression in performances. She has performed solo with major orchestras around the world and is a prolific recording artist and Grammy Award winner. In recognition of her humanitarian work, Midori is the United Nations Messenger of Peace. She has founded several non-profit organizations, including Midori & Friends, which offers music programs to young people and communities in New York City, and MUSIC SHARING, a Japan-based foundation that brings together Western artistic music and Japanese musical traditions in schools, hospitals and other institutions. .

Presented by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from November 7-10, the Women in Classical Music Symposium will be held in person in Dallas and will feature additional lectures and panel discussions on topics relevant to women in the music industry. classical music | This year the focus will be on ‘The Future is Women’s – Inspiring Women in Top Leadership Positions’ and will also include a series of networking events, performances and peer engagement opportunities. | This year’s featured guest will be Grammy Award-winning soprano Renée Fleming, who will receive the Symposium Award of Excellence | To learn more and to register, visit:


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