Category Archives: women composers

Pianist Ursula Oppens on composer Laura Kaminsky: ‘She dares to express extreme emotions’

Ursula Oppens is a renowned champion of contemporary music, who worked with all the greats of the 20th and 21st centuries. – TIME dubbed her ‘The Madonna of contemporary music’. She has a close bond with the American composer Laura … Continue reading

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Vanessa Lann: ‘The Pilgrim Fathers “founded” America, but for the Native Americans it was an entirely different matter’

In Far Cries | Distance No Object, premiered in Operadagen Rotterdam in 2020, Vanessa Lann addressed the theme of leave-taking. The show was inspired by the 400th anniversary of the day in 1620 when the Pilgrim Fathers embarked on a … Continue reading

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Medea, Circe & Penelope get a voice of their own

Euripides immortalized Medea in his eponymous play, Homer recounted Circe and Penelope in his Odyssey. Throughout the centuries, their labelling of the threesome became ever more solidified. We regard Medea as a hysterical child murderer, Circe as a malicious witch … Continue reading

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Merel Vercammen on The Boulanger Legacy: ‘It was unthinkable not to include a work by Nadia, who devoted her life to the legacy of Lili’

When Merel Vercammen first played a piece by Lili Boulanger, she discovered that her sister Nadia had taught Grażyna Bacewicz, one of her favourite composers. Now there is the album The Boulanger Legacy, featuring works by the two sisters and … Continue reading

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Lotta Wennäkoski honours Sibelius in Verdigris: ‘I aimed to be as capricious as possible’

Finnish composers never seem to be able – or allowed – to escape the shadow of Sibelius. On the occasion of his 150th death anniversary in 2015 the Scottish Chamber Orchestra commissioned Lotta Wennäkoski to write a piece referencing his … Continue reading

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Musicologist-pianist Samantha Ege: ‘The music of Florence Price was a revelation!’

Samantha Ege did not know any black composers until she heard music by Florence Price in 2009. In 2020 she completed her musicology studies with a thesis on Price, a year later saw the release of her CD Fantasie nègre, … Continue reading

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The dark night has vanished: songs by Josephine Lang taste for more

Already at the age of 16, the German composer Josephine Lang (1815-1880) published two collections of songs; eventually she would write over 300. Although she was very successful in her own time, rivalling such established song composers as Schubert and … Continue reading

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Sally Beamish: ‘My first language was music’

In April 2021 the double concerto Distans by Sally Beamish was scheduled to be premiered by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, but the concert was postponed due to corona*. She composed it for the Dutch violinist Janine Jansen and the Swedish … Continue reading

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Chaya Czernowin: smoldering emotions under chill surface in opera Heart Chamber

A woman and a man seated at considerable distance from each other stare into space, silent and blank. The image immediately brings to mind the absurdist plays of Samuel Beckett, but Heart Chamber deals with the very recognizable uncertainties of … Continue reading

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Here are all the black female composers!

If you want to change the world, start with the young and malleable. This must have been the thought of Nathan Holder when he decided to write a book about black female composers. Instead of adding yet another exposé to … Continue reading

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