Classical 91.5

Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music

If you look at the listings of the major orchestras in America you will see two things in common; very few of them are programming major pieces by women composers, and almost none have a woman on the podium. Despite the abundance of wonderful compositions by women, the world of classical music has been, for centuries, a man’s world.

During Women’s History Month, Classical 91.5 turns things around to celebrate the achievements of women:  from Hildegarde of Bingen to Jennifer Higdon, and everyone in between. Tune in throughout the month of March to hear the musical gifts of women.  It’s time.

There's lots more content online, from blog posts to videos, resources for research and even some Classics for Kids audio features and Quizzes on the right side of the screen.  Please explore the site to find out more.

Learn more about:

Marin Alsop, conductor
Amy Beach, composer
Hildegard von Bingen, composer and mystic      
Lili & Nadia Boulanger, musicians & teacher
Francesca Caccini, lutenist and composer
Sarah Caldwell, conductor
Cecile Chaminade, composer
Leonora d'Este, princess, musician & nun
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Louise Farrenc, pianist & composer
Renee Fleming, soprano
Jennifer Higdon, composer
Sharon Isbin, guitarist
Saint Kassiani, composer
Jeanne Lamon, conductor
Fanny Mendelssohn, composer
Jessye Norman, soprano
Florence Price, composer
Clara Schumann, pianist & composer
Dame Ethel Smyth, composer
Barbara Strozzi, composer
 

Open Music Library

19th century French pianist and composer Louise Farrenc studied with Anton Reicha and Johann Nepomuk Hummel. Despite being a virtuoso performer and composer, she was paid less than her male colleagues, until 1849 when she demanded – and received equal pay. Listen to her Trio for flute, cello and piano Op. 45 (1856)

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

Wikipedia

Barbara Strozzi was the most prolific composer of vocal music in 17th century Venice. She wrote mainly secular songs for soprano, but she did compose one volume of sacred music. She was said to be a courtesan, but this was likely jealous rumors from her male contemporaries.  Listen to Lagrime mie - Emanuela Galli.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

Famous People

17th century singer, lutenist and composer Francesca Caccini was the daughter of Renaissance composer Giulio Caccini. Very little of her music survives, but her opera, “The Liberation of Ruggiero” is probably the very first opera by a woman composer. Listen to "The Liberation of Ruggiero."

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

Healthy Hildegard

From its beginning, classical music has seen significant contributions from women. In the 12th century Hildegard von Bingen was a composer and a mystic… and a Benedictine Abbess who founded two monasteries. Among her 70-plus compositions, her Ordo Virtutum, is the oldest surviving morality play. Listen to Ordo Virtutum. 

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

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