Female Music Composers
It is a happy fact in today’s music world that an increasing number of women composers are appearing on concert programs. Compositions by living female composers are more evident across the spectrum of performance situations, from schools to concert halls. Historically, women composers have gone neglected in the cannons of classical music, acknowledged while not accorded comparable attention with male composers.
A careful review reveals many outstanding women composers from as early as the 11th century, such as Hildegard von Bingen. Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn are often cited as bright lights even relative to their more famous husbands and brothers. An internet search will turn up many earlier women composers such as Amy Beach and Lili Boulanger. The national library of Sweden in Stockholm is currently involved in a project to catalog women composers through the ages. Dr. Carla K. Bartlett’s work, published by Truluck Music, is included in this catalog.
Today’s outstanding female composers are enjoying new exposure as equals in the contemporary music scene. Women composers such as Kaija Saariaho (Finland), Jennifer Higdon (USA), and Gabriela Ortiz (Mexico) are among those very active in today’s concert halls. Ellen Reid (USA) won the Pulitzer Prize in 2019 for her composition, prism. The Los Angeles Philharmonic has commissioned works from a number of contemporary female composers including Reid. The Philharmonic’s 2018-19 season included works by 22 women composers.
The database by the Kapralova Society lists hundreds of female composers with links to their biographical and professional information. This source states that there are more than 6,000 women composers about whom a record exists.
Organizations supportive of women composers are actively encouraging, recruiting, and promoting female composers. Group such as The International Alliance for Women in Music and the American Composers Forum promote women composers by offering music competitions, grants, and composition opportunities to all composers, but especially to female composers.
At Truluck Music, we are proud to support female composers and their work.
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