Composers and their works performed by frauenkomponiert

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Isabelle Aboulker

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – La jeune veuve; La chatte métamorphosée en femme; La cigale et la fourmi (“Femmes en Fables“, d’après des fables de Jean de la Fontaine 

Parallel to composition and piano studies at the Paris Conservatoire, Isabelle Aboulker (*1938) composed for theater, cinema and television productions. As assistant pianist and voice professor, her compositional work focuses on voice and opera from 1981 onwards. Her attention to prosody shows her roots in the French song tradition.


Fabienne Ambuehl

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 Sea Son

Swiss pianist, singer and composer Fabienne Ambuehl released her debut album Glitterwoods with the Fabienne Ambuehl Trio on Traumton records in 2015. She performs regularly as the pianist in the Noga Ritter band and has worked and toured in Senegal for a musical residency, supported by Arts Council England. As the pianist in Neele & the Soundvoyage she released a EP and the album Visions (QFTF Berlin 2018) and toured Switzerland and Germany. As a singer and soloist of the Jazz Choir Freiburg she toured Germany and Austria. In July 2017 she was their soloist at the Eurovision Song Contest for choirs in Riga, Latvia. With X-elle she recorded two CDs and has played numerous concerts in Switzerland. In 2013 she was selected for Suisse Diagonales Jazz with Harmonie Greber.
Fabienne completed her masters at Lucerne School of Music in 2014, with degrees in performance and pedagogy. She studied piano with Hans Feigenwinter and Chris Wiesendanger alongside vocal studies with Bruno Amstad and Lauren Newton. She has further taken lessons with Jean Paul Brodbeck, Christoph Stiefel, Lester Menezes, Asaf Sirkis, Gwilym Simcock and Aaron Goldberg.


Elfrida Andrée

frauenkomponiert 2021 Ur Drömliv I

Elfrida Andrée (1841–1929) was a Swedish organist and composer. A pupil of Ludvig Norman and Niels Wilhelm Gade, she was an important figure in the women’s movement. She was one of the first female organists in Scandinavia, becoming organist of Gothenburg Cathedral in 1867. She was elected a member of the Swedish Academy of Music.

Andrée’s organ symphonies are still performed today. She also composed the opera “Fritiofs saga” (1899), several orchestral works, a piano quintet (1865), a piano quartet (1870) and a piano trio (1887), violin and piano pieces, a Swedish Mass, and songs.


Claude Arrieu

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Quintette en ut pour instruments à vent

Born in the French capital, Claude Arrieu (1903–90) studied at the Paris Conservatoire. In 1932 she was awarded the 1er Prix de Composition. In addition to her compositional work, she taught and was active in French radio broadcasting from 1935 to 1947.

Arrieu wrote works for almost all musical genres, including film music and radio scores. Her operas, mostly opéras bouffes, are both dramatic and comic. Her compositions are belong to the style of 20th century Parisian neoclassicism.


May Aufderheide

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Richmond Rag (1909); Novelty Rag (1911); A Totally Different Rag (1910); Dusty Rag (1908)

Raised in Indianapolis (Indiana), May Aufderheide (1890–1972) is recognised today as one of the best-known and most significant female ragtime composers. In 1908 her first composition, Dusty, was published, and a year later her most successful work, The Thriller. Her father founded his own music publishers in order to publish the works of his daughter and other women ragtime composers.


Heidi (Baader-)Nobs (*1940)

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Evasion (2017)

Heidi (Baader-)Nobs (*1940) trained as a teacher at the Ecole Normale in Delémont and was given at the same time her first piano and violin lessons. Subsequently she studied violin with Rodolfo Felicani at the Basel Musik-Akademie. Due to a chronic inflammation of the right arm, she had to give up her violin studies, thereafter concentrating on composition and music theory with Robert Suter and Jacques Wildberger.

After her marriage to Claudius Baader and the birth of their three children Manon (1971), Manuel (1973) and Sébastien (1978), Heidi Baader-Nobs gradually reduced her compositional work to devote herself to her family. “The children are my best works.”

Following on from this long interruption she returned to composing in 1980 at the repeated request of her friends. She distanced herself from the serial system and developed a very personal musical language. Her works are determined above all by graphic forms: they are acoustic realisations of graphic ideas.


Grażyna Bacewicz

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Uwertura (1943)

Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–69) received her first training in piano, violin, and composition from her Lithuanian-born father. She performed as a child and composed her first work at the age of 13. In 1928 she began studying philosophy at Warsaw University. At the Warsaw Academy of Music she studied composition, violin, and piano. She studied composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger from the early 1930s. From 1936 to 1938, she was lead violinist of the Polish Radio Orchestra. From 1953 she devoted herself entirely to composition and teaching.

Bacewicz composed a radio opera (Przygoda Króla Artura, 1959), three ballets, six symphonies, and other orchestral works, several instrumental concertos, numerous chamber music works, a cantata, and songs.


Anita Denise Baker

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018  Sweet Love 

Anita Denise Baker (*1958) is an American singer-songwriter. Starting her career in the late 1970’s with the funk band Chapter 8, she released her first solo album, The Songstress, in 1983. In 1986, she rose to stardom following the release of her platinum-selling second album, Rapture, which included the Grammy-winning single “Sweet Love”. She is regarded as one of the most popular singers of soulful romantic ballads during the height of the quiet storm period of contemporary R&B in the 1980’s. Baker has won mutiple Grammy Awards and has several platinum and one gold album.


Elsa Barraine

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 – Prélude et Fugue (no. 1, 1929)

Elsa Barraine (1910–99) studied counterpoint, harmony, composition, and piano at the renowned Conservatoire of her native Paris. At the age of 15, she was awarded First Prize in harmony and at 17 First Prizes in fugal composition and piano accompaniment. At the age of 19, she won the coveted First Prize at the “Prix de Rome” for her cantata “La Vierge Guerrière” about the national heroine Jeanne d’Arc. From 1936 to 1940, she worked as a pianist, choir director, and sound engineer for radio. Having already shown an anti-fascist commitment in 1933 in her orchestral work “Pogromes”, she fought in the resistance against the German occupation during the Second World War as a founding member of the “Front National des Musiciens”. From 1944 to 1947 she worked in the management of the record label “Chant du Monde” and from 1953 to 1972 she taught at the Conservatoire as a professor of musical analysis. Afterwards she was inspector of the music directorate of the Ministry of Culture. The composer Elsa Barraine was well-known and respected. She turned her hand to all areas of musical life. In addition to symphonies, her eminently diverse oeuvre also includes film music, an opera, and chamber music in rare instrumentations. In some of her compositions she touches on social themes. Elsa Barraine had Jewish ancestors and uses melodies from the Jewish tradition in her organ works and some vocal works – as in the fugue from the “Prélude et Fugue” no. 1, one of her first published compositions.


Amy Beach (*1867)

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018:

String Quintet

Symphony in E minor for large orchestra, op. 32 «Gaelic» (1896);

Fantasia fugata, op.87
Serenade (transcription of R. Strauss Ständchen”)
Barcarolle, op.28, no.1

From Grandmother’s Garden, op. 97
No. 3 Mignonette
No. 5 Honeysuckle

Les Rêves de Colombine, op. 65, no. 1: La Fée de la fontaine
Scottish Legend, op.54, no.1
A Cradle Song of the Lonely Mother, op.108

Three Pianoforte Pieces, op. 128
No. 1 Scherzino: A Peterborough Chipmunk
No. 2 Young Birches
No. 3 A Humming-bird

A Hermit Thrush at Eve, op. 92. 1

Improvisations, op. 148
No. 1 Lento, molto tranquillo
No. 2 Allegretto grazioso e capriccioso

Bal masque, op.22

The pianist and composer, Mrs. H.H.A. Beach née Cheney (1867–1944), was the first American woman composer of large-scale orchestral works. In her time she was famous in the US and Europe.

At the age of one, Amy Cheney could already sing 40 melodies. A year later she began to improvise a second voice and taught herself to read at the age of three. As a four-year-old, she once played a piano piece by heart, but a semitone higher, because the piano was out of tune and she wanted to keep the original pitch.

Despite such abilities, her parents did not allow her to become a professional musician. Upon her marriage aged 18 to Henry Harris Aubrey Beach, who was 25 years her senior, she accepted (with some resistance) to perform in public as a pianist henceforth only once a year. Perhaps rather curiously, her husband decided on the career of his wife as a composer – something that can, of course, be done at home – and allowed her to publish some works under her new (i.e. his) name. As her husband did not, however, allow her to take lessons in composition, Beach studied autodidactically: she used Hector Berlioz’s book on instrumentation and orchestration, for example, to learn to negotiate the instruments of the orchestra.

She became known in musical circles and amongst campaigners for women’s rights as the musical representative of the US at the World Exhibition of 1893 in Chicago. Following the death of her husband in 1910, Beach embarked upon a three-year tour of Europe, during which she gave concerts of her own works. In 1914 she returned to the US and spent some time in the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, before moving to New York in the 1920’s. She worked there until 1940 at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Park Avenue in Manhattan.


Antonia Padoani Bembo

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – “Mormorate o fiumicelli”; Aria from the opera “L’Ercole amante” for soprano, 2 violins and b.c.

Antonia Padoani Bembo (1640–1720) was rooted in two different cities and music cultures: in Venice as an established singer and student of Francesco Cavalli: in Paris as a composer and singer who was valued and supported with a life-long subsidy by Louis XIV. This explains her equal familiarity with Italian and French musical tastes.


Hildegard von Bingen

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 – O pastor animarum

Hildegard von Bingen is considered one of the most important personalities of the High Middle Ages. She was extremely knowledgeable and highly esteemed in many areas: religion, ethics, mysticism, literature, music, and medicine, and her insights and creations are still highly regarded today.


Mel Bonis

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Preghiera; Toccata

It seems incomprehensible today that the works of Mel Bonis (1858–1937) were gradually forgotten, for they represent some of the most important chamber music compositions of the French post-Romantic period. Supported by César Franck, Bonis was accepted by the Paris Conservatoire in 1877 and studied there successfully, as several prizes testify, until 1881. In 1883 she married the industrialist Albert Domange. They had four offspring and only when the children had grown up did Bonis’s music regain precedence. Her most important works were composed between 1900 and 1914.


Nadja Boulanger

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Les heures claires

Nadia Juliette Boulanger (1887–1979) was a French composer, pianist, conductor, music theorist, and teacher. She began learning organ and composition from her father at the age of nine. Later she was taught by Louis Vierne and went to the Conservatoire de Paris. As early as 1903, Nadia Boulanger became assistant organist to Gabriel Fauré at the church of La Madeleine. In 1904, at the age of sixteen, she received first prizes in organ, accompaniment, and composition, and in 1908 the second prize of the “Prix de Rome” in composition for her cantata “La Sirène”. She became one of the most famous composition teachers of the 20th century, teaching, among others, Grażyna Bacewicz, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Philip Glass, Arthur Honegger, Thea Musgrave, Astor Piazzolla, and Maurice Ravel.

When she conducted the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1938, she broke into a traditionally male domain. It was her first appearance outside France and the first time that orchestra had been under the baton of a woman. Her reputation as a conductor grew especially in connection with modern works and early music, which she promoted unwaveringly.


Lauren Buscemi

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 – Enttäuschung (F. Wedekind; 2013)


Martha von Castelberg

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Veni sanctificator; O bone Jesu; Adoro te devote; O crux ave; Bitte; Ich entblätterte dich; Ich flüchte mich; Erkenne dich Mensch; Meditation; Veni Sancte spiritus; Anima Christi; O memoriale mortis; O bone pastor; Canzun de Tgina; Du bist ein Schatten; Wandern

Martha von Castelberg (1892–1971) was a highly gifted musician. As the daughter of the Zurich private banker Paul Carl Eduard von Orelli and Beatrice née von Reding, she received private violin lessons at an early age from Joseph Ebner, who taught at the Zurich Conservatory. But although he attested to the girl’s great talent, her father was against her studying music. In 1917, however, she was given a valuable instrument by the Italian violin maker Michele Deconet, Venice 1775. Martha von Orelli taught herself to play the piano. She sought advice on compositional technique from such well-known Zurich musicians as the two choirmasters Walther Reinhart and Fritz Stüssi, as well as from the famous conductor and composer Erich Schmid, one of the twelve-tone pioneers in Switzerland.

Martha von Orelli grew up in a strict Catholic family. She wrote many sacred songs and motets – in effect musically-imagined prayers – and also set melancholy poems to music.


Maddalena Casulana

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Morir non puo

The Italian late Renaissance composer Maddalena Casulana Mezari (c. 1544 –unknown) was a singer, lutenist, and composition teacher. Between 1566 and 1586, she published several volumes of 3 to 5-part madrigals, mainly in Venice. These are considered the earliest examples of printed music by a female composer.


Maria Domitilla Ceva

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Dixit Dominus (Ps. 109; Guildhall Library, ms. G Mus 353)

Maria Domitilla Ceva (c. 1640–c.1720) was a Benedictine nun at Santa Radegonda in Milan, a singer, and a composer.


Cécile Chaminade

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 La nef sacrée op. 171 – Offertoire für Orgel

Cécile Chaminade (1857–1944) began composing pieces as an eight-year-old child, and she gave her first concert at the age of 18. A successful career as a pianist followed – Chaminade often played her own pieces. She particularly enjoyed performing in England and became a favourite guest of Queen Victoria. Fan clubs were formed in the USA around 1900, and in 1908 she played in twelve US cities in three months.

At 43, she married a music publisher twenty years her senior. “It’s difficult to balance domestic life with artistic life,” she said. “When a talented woman marries a man who respects the artist in her, such a marriage can bring happiness to both.” The happiness did not last long, for Louis-Mathieu Carbonel died in 1907.

In 1913, she became the first female composer ever to be inducted into the Légion d’Honneur. By the time the First World War broke out, there was little remaining interest in her music and she died, lonely and disappointed, in Monte Carlo at the age of 86.


Caroline Charrière

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Tu me diras (Marguerite Burnat – Provins); Ton coeur bat (Marguerite Burnat – Provins); Ta voix (Marguerite Burnat – Provins); Tu m’as dit

Swiss composer and conductor Caroline Charrière (1960–2018) was born in Freiburg in Üechtland and studied flute, composition, and later conducting at the Lausanne Conservatory. In 2000 she decided to devote herself primarily to composition.


Chiara Margarita Cozzolani

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Domine ad adiuvandum (Salmi a otto voci concertati, Venice, 1650); Quid, miseri, quid faciamus (Concerti sacri …, Venice 1642); Confitebor tibi Domino (Ps. 110; Salmi a otto voci concertati, Venice, 1650); Laudate pueri à 6 (Ps. 112)
(Salmi a otto voci concertati, Venice, 1650); O praeclara dies, (Cozzolani, Scherzi di sacra melodia, op. 3 Venice, 1648); Laetatus sum (Ps. 121; Salmi a otto voci concertati, Venice, 1650)

Chiara Margarita Cozzolani (1602–78) was the youngest daughter of a wealthy merchant family in Milan. Her aunts and older sister, Candida Arsilia, had already entered the convent when Margherita took her vows in August 1620 with the religious name Chiara in the Benedictine convent of S. Radegonda. Nothing is known about her education, but she will have received it at the convent, where the daughters of the upper classes were instructed not only in household management, but also in the arts, such as music.

Between 1640 and 1650, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani published four collections, although her first opus is now lost:

  • Primavera di ori musicali op. 1 (Milan 1640)
  • Concerti sacri op. 2 (Venice: Vincenti 1642)
  • Scherzi di sacra melodia op. 3 (Venice: Vincenti 1648)
  • Salmi à otto voci concertati, motetti, dialoghi.

In the 1660s, Cozzolani was elected prioress and in 1658 and 1672 abbess of S. Radegonda. Due to the increased duties in the administration of the monastery, her publications came to a standstill. In addition, she had to defend the rights of her monastery against the disciplinary measures of Archbishop Alfonso Litta, which probably left her no time to compose.


Jeanne Demessieux

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – From Twelve Choral Preludes on Gregorian Chant Themes; Hosanna filio David. Choral Fugue;
Attende Domine. Choral Paraphrase; Vexilla regis. Prélude; Ubi caritas. Ricercare; In manus tuas. Litanie

Jeanne Marie-Madeleine Demessieux (1921–68) was a French organist, pianist, composer, and pedagogue. In 1962, she was appointed titular organist at La Madeleine in Paris. She combined this with demanding academic duties, serving as professor of organ both at the Nancy Conservatoire (1950–52) and later at the Conservatoire Royal in Liège (1952–68). In 1967, she signed a contract with Decca for a recording of the complete organ works by Olivier Messiaen, which she did not live to finish. Jeanne Demessieux died on November 11, 1968 in Paris of cancer, at the age of 47.
Demessieux wrote more than 30 compositions. Many of these were written for the organ, but she also produced pieces for piano, fairly numerous songs, a handful of choral works (including an oratorio, “Chanson de Roland”), and orchestral works.


Alma Deutscher (*2005)

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Violin Concerto No. 1 (2014/2015)

The British composer, pianist and violinist Alma Deutscher (*2005) started playing the piano when she was two years old and the violin when she was three. Soon afterwards she started improvising simple melodies on the piano. Her attempts at composition started aged four, when she began writing an opera about a pirate called Don Alonzo. She started studying partimento (an instructional bass line with either figured or unfigured bass) and improvisation with Tobias Cramm (Basel) in 2010.

When she was six, Alma composed her first full piano sonata, and at seven she wrote a very short opera called The Sweeper of Dreams. Aged nine, Alma composed a concerto for violin and orchestra, which she premiered in 2015. Her first piece for symphony orchestra, Dance of the Solent Mermaids, was also premiered in 2015.

Aged ten, Alma finished a full-length opera, Cinderella. A chamber version of the opera was performed in Israel in 2015 and the full version was premiered in Vienna under the patronage of Zubin Mehta in December 2016, to standing ovations, sold out performances, and international critical acclaim. In July 2017, Alma premiered her first piano concerto.

Alma’s talent as a musician has been acknowledged by figures such as Sir Simon Rattle and violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. Since 2015 she has been mentored by Martin Campbell-White, the man who discovered and promoted Sir Simon. Alma has featured prominently in the international press and broadcast media. Her YouTube channel has more than 4.5 million views.


Violeta Dinescu

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Echos III (1981)

Violeta Dinescu (*1953) was appointed professor of applied composition at the University of Oldenburg in 1996. In addition to her university activities, she gives frequent courses, lecture recitals, and lectures. She received her professional training at the Bucharest Conservatory from 1972 to 1977, where she graduated with diplomas in composition, piano, and pedagogy, as well as in a one-year study with the internationally renowned composer Myriam Marbe (1931–97). In Bucharest she taught at the “George Enescu” Music School from 1978. After moving to Germany in 1982, she first taught at the Hochschule für Ev. Kirchenmusik Heidelberg, at the Musikhochschule Frankfurt am Main, and at the Fachakademie (now Hochschule) für Ev. Kirchenmusik Bayreuth. As a student she was involved in researching the folk music and orthodox church music of Romania – in her compositions she has assimilated influences from these two traditions and combines organised structures with intuitive elements. Her diverse oeuvre includes diverse forms and scorings, and she usually writes with specific performers and performance situations in mind.

“Echos III” was composed in Romania in 1981 and premiered in Germany the following year. The piece cultivates the contrast between differentiated but static sound surfaces and free interjections reminiscent of improvisations; it is part of a series with “Echos I” for piano (1980) and “Echos II” for piano with percussion (1981).


Susanne Doll

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018

Susanne Doll (*1956) has been Organist at St. Leonhard’s church and the Church of St. Paul and artistic director of the “Orgelspiel zum Feierabend” in Basel since 1991. She focuses on compositions for organ and choir; arrangements for organ from Bach via Debussy to Pink Floyd, Santana, Piazzolla, Gershwin, Dvorak, Grieg and Brubeck; working with amateurs; the organ works of Bach, Dupré and Messiaen.


Maija Einfelde

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Sanctus (Orgel)

Maija Einfelde (*1939) was born in Valmiera, Latvia, and began her musical studies as an organist. She continued her education at the Alfrēds Kalniņš Music School in Cēsis, at the Jāzeps Mediņš Music Academy in Riga, and studied composition with Jānis Ivanovs at the conservatory there from 1966. After graduating from high school, she taught music theory and composition at the Alfrēds Kalniņš Music School in Cēsis, the Emīls Dārziņš Music School, and the Jāzeps Mediņš Music College.

The composer wrote, “I do not really understand my younger colleagues when they declare that they wish to extinguish any kind of Latvian roots in their music. I am happy if there are national roots in music and I am sad if they are not there. It is satisfying when you know what happens in the world, and still you remain who you are.”

Einfelde’s works have been performed internationally, including performances by the Brigham Young University Choir, the Chamber Choir in Vancouver, the Chorale of Kansas City in the USA, the Radio Choir of the Netherlands, and Carnegie Hall in New York.


Jeanne-Louise Farrenc

frauenkomponiert 2021 – Nonetto in Es, op. 38
Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Sonata for violin and piano no.1 in c minor, op.37; Largo – Allegro; Poco Adagio; Allegro vivace
frauenkomponiert 2015 – Symphony No. 3 in G minor, Op. 36 (1847)

Born in Paris, Jeanne Louise Dumont, later known as Louise Farrenc (1804–75), was a composer, pianist and musicologist. She was lucky enough to be married to an understanding and supportive music publisher, Aristide Farrenc. He wrote about the work of his wife:
“No musician can fail to remember the Sinfonie, which Mme Farrenc performed in the conservatory, a strong and courageous work, in which the brilliance of the melody competes with the rich variety of the harmony.”
Schumann expressed approval of Farrenc’s work and wrote a positive critique of it in his music periodical. She started teaching at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 38. Her output is voluminous, with symphonies, overtures, vocal and choral works, pieces for solo piano, and chamber music.


Esther Flückiger

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Guarda i lumi (Fünf migrierende Klangbilder) World premiere (dedicated to Jiří Němeček and Ludovic van Hellemont); Desert in Mood; Ligetissimo

Pianist, improviser and composer – also in multimedia contexts – Esther Flückiger (*1959) uses a rich palette for artistic creation, which shows her familiarity with both classical repertoire and jazz idioms. She has performed in Europe, the US, Russia, Asia, and South America and taken part in numerous CD, TV and radio recordings.


Ilse Gerényi

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Hommage à Béla Bartók (1975)

Ilse Gerényi (1929–2012) was born in Vienna. There she received an unusually varied education with studies both at the Musikhochschule (organ with Anton Heiller, among others, improvisation, piano, harpsichord, choral conducting and church music) and at the university (musicology and philosophy up to doctoral level). She moved to Switzerland in 1957. She has performed in organ concerts as well as in Swiss radio productions (including numerous premieres); in addition, she has held posts teaching various keyboard instruments and as a church musician. She published texts on music-pedagogical and art-philosophical topics and composed mainly organ and piano music as well as pieces for organ, speaker or singer, and congregation. Her short “Hommage à Béla Bartók”, bears the subtitle “Organistic and barbaristic pleasures of Bartók’s microcosm”. The composer transfered unchanging energetic cells (which also characterize Bartók’s famous collection of short piano pieces) to the organ with wit and an original sound vision, exploring a completely non-Sunday side of the queen of instruments.


Irene Giblin

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Sleepy Lou (1906)

Irene Giblin (1888–1974) also known as Irene Giblin O’Brien, was an American pianist and composer of ragtime. She published a total of ten pieces between 1905 and 1911. Her song “Chicken Chowder” of 1905 was her biggest success.


Ruth Gipps

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 – Symphony no. 2, op. 30 (1945)

Ruth Gipps (1921–99) was the daughter of a British violinist and a Swiss piano teacher (from Basel) and was considered a child prodigy. She composed her first piece at the age of eight. At the age of 15, she passed the entrance examination for the Royal College of Music in London, to which she was admitted in January 1937. She studied composition and piano. Further studies followed at the University of Durham. Her compositional breakthrough came in 1942 with the orchestral poem “Knight in Armour”, performed under Sir Henry Wood at the Last Night of the Proms, and finally in 1946 with the 2nd Symphony op. 30. Ruth Gipps was also active as an instrumental soloist – as a pianist, oboist, and English horn soloist. Due to problems with her wrist, she ended her solo career in 1954 and worked thereafter exclusively as a composer and conductor. She wrote five symphonies, which she considered her major works, additional orchestral works, concertos, chamber music, choral music, piano music, and songs. Her symphonies show the influence of Ralph Vaughan Williams, Edward Elgar, and Gustav Holst. Stylistically, with her sweeping melodies, she wrote in the tradition of British late and post-Romanticism.


Peggy Glanville-Hicks

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Tragic Celebration (1964); Sinfonia Pacifica (1953)

At a young age, Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912–90) began studying composition at the Melba Conservatory in her native Melbourne. At the age of twenty, she went to London to continue her musical studies with Ralph Vaughan Williams. From 1936–8, the Australian continued her studies in Vienna. Like many music students of her generation, she eventually ended up in Nadia Boulanger’s talent factory in Paris. In 1941 she moved to the USA, where she worked as a music critic and from 1950–60 as director of the Composers Forum at Columbia University. She returned to Australia in 1975. Glanville-Hicks composed five operas, eight ballets, a symphony, a sinfonietta, a flute concerto, a viola concerto, and a piano concerto. In addition, she wrote numerous chamber music works, choral music, songs, and film scores.


Sofia Gubaidulina

frauenkomponiert 2021 Light and dark (for organ)
2015 – Impromptu for flute (flute and alto flute), violin, and strings (1996)

Born in the city of Chistopol’ye in the Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic of Tatar, Sofiya Asgatovna Gubaidulina (*1931) grew up in Kazan’. Her father was an engineer, her mother a teacher, and her grandfather a mullah. After studying piano and composition at the Kazan’ State Conservatory (1949–54), she continued her composition studies in Moscow with Nicolai Peyko and Vissarion Shebalin, graduating in 1963. During her apprenticeship she was awarded a Stalin-fellowship. In the so-called era of stagnation, however, her compositions were officially banned.
If Gubaidulina’s Russian heritage is of great importance to her works, the Asiatic influence of her Tartar descent is also clearly audible. Above all, though, it is the great spirituality of her works – she understands composing as a religious act – which defines her work. It is this, as well as her preoccupation with numerical relationships, that explains her significant affinity with Johann Sebastian Bach. Gubaidulina often works with opposites, such as “light and darkness”, and her goal is the reconciliation of contradictory voices.
In 1981, Gidon Kremer made an essential contribution to Gubaidulina’s fame in the West with his premiere of her Violin Concerto Offertorium. She dedicated her second violin concerto to the German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter. In 1992, the composer moved to Germany near Hamburg. She is a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin, the Freie Akademie der Künste in Hamburg, the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 1999 she was awarded the German Order Pour le mérite. She is Honorary Professor at the conservatoires of Kazan, Beijing, and Tianjin and Honorary President of frauenkomponiert since its founding in 2014/15.


Elisabeth Claude Jacquet de la Guerre

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Sonata in D minor for violin and B.c; Grave, Presto, Adagio-Presto-Adagio, Aria, Presto; Trio Sonata in D Major for 2 Violins and B.c.; Grave, Vivace e Presto – Adagio, Allegro, Adagio, Allegro, Aria: Affettuoso, Allegro

Elisabeth Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665–1729) was the daughter of a harpsichord-maker and as a child she was much prized as a harpsichord virtuoso. At the age of 15 she was taken into the employment of Louis XIV, who supported her and ensured that her compositions were performed.


Mehveş Hanım

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021

One of the most famous compositions of her time, “Kaçsam bırakıp senden uzak” (“Leaving you I would flee into the distance”), was written by Mehveş Hanım (?–1976). This melancholic and poignant song is said to be her last work. Born in the port city of Izmir, Mehveş Hanım, who was also a teacher, composed around 60 pieces. As a composer, she used her aunt’s name as a pseudonym (her own name is not known to us); she had been brought up by her aunt as a child.

As a young woman, Mehveş Hanım went to Istanbul to record one of her compositions at Columbia Records. However, because it was against traditional etiquette to mention the name of a Muslim woman composer on a record, she used an Armenian name.


Fanny Hensel

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Faust
Trio für Piano, Violin und Violoncello in d-minor op. 11
Nacht liegt auf den fremden Wegen
frauenkomponiert 2018 – Prelude in G major; Prelude in F major for organ

Allegro molto C minor

Das Jahr – 12 Charakterstücke für Fortepiano

  1. Januar – Ein Traum. Adagio quasi una Fantasia
    Ahnest du, o Seele, wieder
    Sanfte, süsse Frühlingslieder,
    Sieh umher die falben Bäume,
    Ach!, es waren holde Träume.
  2. Februar – Scherzo. Presto
    Denkt nicht, ihr seid in deutschen Gränzen,
    Von Teufels-, Narren- und Totentänzen
    Ein heiter Fest erwartet euch.
  3. März – Praeludium und Choral «Christ ist erstanden»
    Verkündiget, ihr dumpfen Glocken, schon
    Des Osterfestes erste Feierstunde?
  4. April – Capriccioso
    Der Sonnenblick betrüget
    Mit mildem, falschem Schein.
  5. Mai – Frühlingslied
    Nun blühet das fernste, tiefste Tal.
  6. Juni – Serenade. Allegro
    Hör ich Rauschen, hör ich Lieder,
    Hör ich holde Liebesklage.
  7. Juli – Larghetto
    Die Fluren dürsten nach erquickendem Tau,
    der Mensch verschmachtet.
  8. August – Allegro
    Bunt von Farben Auf den Garben liegt der Kranz.
  9. September – Am Flusse. Andante con moto
    Fliesse, fliesse, lieber Fluss,
    Nimmer werd ich froh.
  10. Oktober – Allegro con spirito
    Im Wald, im grünen Walde,
    Da ist ein lustiger Schall.
  11. November – Mesto
    Wie rauschen die Bäume so winterlich schon,
    Es fliehen die Träume des Lebens davon,
    Ein Klagelied schallt
    Durch Hügel und Wald.
  12. Dezember – Allegro molto. Choral
    Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her
  13. Nachspiel – Choral
    Das alte Jahr vergangen ist Il Saltarello Romano

frauenkomponiert 2015 – Hero and Leander: Dramatic scene for soprano with orchestral accompaniment

Fanny Hensel (1805–47), the older sister of Felix Mendelssohn, was born into a Jewish family, but then baptised a Protestant in 1816 (Jews had practically no rights in Prussia at the time). At the tender age of 13, she was already playing substantial parts of Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier from memory. As Felix’s elder sister she actively supported him in his work and apparently made suggestions for corrections to his compositions. Her brother even published some of her works under his own name. According to the conventions of the time for a woman of her standing, Fanny’s musical activities from the age of about 15 were restricted to chamber music for the private sphere –composition could be no more than an “ornamental” occupation for her. Fanny did not let this deter her. She composed throughout her life a total of around 450 pieces: inner necessity inspired her to compose rather than the aim of reaching a wider public. In the “Gartensaal” of the family home in Berlin, she organised Sunday matinees that were accessible to the social elite and she became an important figure in the cultural life of the city. From 1831, she composed a series of larger works in quick succession, including the Overtüre for orchestra and the “dramatic concert scene for soprano and orchestra” Hero and Leander. At a private performance of the overture in 1834, she borrowed on the spur of the moment one of Felix’s batons (in his absence) and conducted the work herself, thereby writing another piece of history. Towards the end of her life, she began to publish her works. She was constantly supported by her husband, the painter Wilhelm Hensel, who also wrote texts for her music. In other circumstances, Fanny Hensel would not simply have been “the other Mendelssohn”.


Maria Hofer

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Toccata (1937)

After a solid education at the Academy of Music in her home town of Vienna, Maria Hofer (1894–1977) found great recognition as a pianist and organist. She gave performances in the Vienna Konzerthaus and many concert tours. At that time, she was already known for her improvisations, and early compositions were performed in, for example, St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

An important step for her further development was taken when she joined the “International Women’s League for Peace and Freedom”, founded in 1915. She composed a “Peace Hymn” in the Romantic tradition for it, as well as working as an editor for the Viennese Universal Edition – one of the most important publishers of new music at the time. She received friendly support from Yella Hertzka, the wife of the publishing house director. With the beginning of the Second World War and in view of Yella’s emigration, she withdrew from Viennese society to Kitzbühel (Tyrol).

There she was arrested by the Gestapo in 1941 and imprisoned for several months, losing numerous manuscripts and valuable documents. During the war as well as in the first post-war years, she was able to continue her successes as a concert organist and composer, but she withdrew more and more to Kitzbühel, where she could be heard not only on the organ but also on the glockenspiel. Finally, she destroyed many of her compositions – as a result of this and the losses already suffered during the war, only a small heterogeneous body of work remains today, which, in addition to a few singular achievements (above all toccatas for organ or piano, “Totentanz” for orchestra [1948]), also includes simple Gebrauchsmusik.


Jessica Ulusoy-Horsley

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Songs of Songs (2020)

see biography under “musicians”


Dorothy Howell

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Koong Shee Ballet (1921)

Dorothy Gertrude Howell (1898–1982) was born in Birmingham, grew up in Handsworth, and received a convent education. Granville Bantock taught her composition and she went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 15. In 1919, her symphonic poem “Lamia”, premiered at the Queen’s Hall as part of Henry Wood’s Promenade Concerts, attracted considerable attention and was performed a further four times in the same season. In 1921 she was awarded the Cobbett Prize for “Phantasy” for violin and orchestra. Dorothy Howell also appeared as a pianist. Many of her works are written for the piano. She tended the grave of Sir Edward Elgar for several years and after her death in 1982, was buried near it.


Dilhayat Kalfa

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021

Little is known about Dilhayat Kalfa (c. 1710 – c. 1780). The name “Kalfa” indicates that she was one of the servants at the court of the Ottoman sultan. Carefully selected, all of the servants were trained in the fine arts, calligraphy, poetry, music, and so on in line with their talents. It is evident from the high quality of her works that Dilhayat Kalfa was taught by excellent musicians and that she was a very talented player of the tanbur (long-necked lute). The place where the lessons were held is still referred to today as “Mes(h)k Hâne”, which means “room or place of teaching”.

According to M. Nazmi Özalp, the first compositions in the Makam (= tonal system) Evcârâ appeared around the 18th century. Legend has it that Sultan Selim III invented this makam at the age of 19, but the chronology points rather to Dilhayat Kalfa. The most beautiful compositions of that time when penned by her. In addition to her excellent compositional technique, Dilhayat Kalfa also understood the art of prosody, as testified by her impressive vocal compositions.


Vítězslava Kaprálová

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 String Quartet
Festival frauenkomponiert
2016 – Sbohem a šáteček
(Waving Farewell) for voice and orchestra (1938)


Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915–40) made her first attempts at composition at the age of nine. At 15, she commenced studies in conducting and composition at the Conservatory of Brno – against the will of her father, although he was himself a composer. She furthered her studies in Prague and Paris. She was Bohuslav Martinů’s student and lover.
In 1937, Kaprálová conducted her own Military Symphony with the Czech Philharmoic and a year later with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Despite her early death, she left a remarkable body of composition (25 works with opus numbers). After the 1950s, her work was largely forgotten, then being re-discovered in the 21st century.


Neveser Kökdeş

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021

Neveser Kökdeş (1904–62) was one of the most famous Turkish composers and musicians of her time. Her initial musical education was provided by her father and her brother. The young Neveser then received her higher education entrance qualification at the French school of “Notre Dame de Sion” in Istanbul. She was trained in classical European music and played the guitar very well, but concentrated on the piano, giving solo concerts from an early age. She learned and discovered the art of makam or Turkish music by playing the tanbur (long-necked lute). She began composing her first pieces at the age of twelve. Her brother, the famous operetta composer and musician Muhlis Sabahattin Ezgi, performed his sister’s compositions as well as his own and recorded them on shellac records. Her European education also shaped Kökdeş’s compositional style. She achieved fame with her waltzes, operettas, and tangos, amongst other things, which earned her the nickname of “The Queen of the Tango”, but also some criticism.

She published her own works on numerous records. She is said to have composed 500–1000 pieces. In her will, however, she decreed that all her unpublished compositions should be burned, as they did not live up to her high standards.


Sadie Koninsky

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Eli Green’s Cakewalk (1896)

Sadie Koninsky (1879–1952) left an impressive legacy of compositions, and not just in ragtime. She spent the bulk of her life in Troy, New York. Sadie’s first known published composition was issued by the house of M. Witmark in 1894. The Belles of Andalusia was a pleasant Spanish-tinged waltz. This was followed in 1895 by a typical march of the era, The Minstrel King, published in Albany. However, she first came to prominence at the age of 19 or 20. While training to become a classical violinist, a skill for which she turned out to be very capable, Miss Koninsky then wrote Eli Green’s Cake Walk. It was quickly picked up by Joseph W. Stern for publication, and Stern had lyrics added by staff writer Dave Reed to further benefit from the demand for cakewalk songs.
At a time shortly after cakewalk dance music had been introduced into publication, Sadie, a Jewish white woman, was able to capture successfully the feeling of the typical black-composed cakewalk. Furthermore, it was published under her real name, a feat not often duplicated for this genre until a few years later when women such as Charlotte Blake and May Aufderheide started putting out ragtime works.


Nathalie Laesser Zweifel

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Brazileira; Long ago (Swiss premiere)

Nathalie Laesser Zweifel (*1976) grew up in Aarau and studied piano at the Conservatoire in Lausanne with Christian Favre and in the concert class of Hiroo Sakagami at the Hochschule of Lucerne. She furthered her studies as an accompanist with Edward Rushton and studied jazz piano and composition with Thierry Lang at the jazz school of Montreux. She received important musical stimuli for Bossa Nova and Samba from pianist Leandra Braga in Rio de Janiero.


Junghae Lee

Festival frauenkomponiert 2016 – poema ritmico for piano solo and string orchestra (2014) 

Junghae Lee (*1964) is a Korean citizen, but was born in Tokyo. She studied composition with ByungDong Paik at Seoul National University and later took part in masterclasses with Isang Yun and Toru Takemitsu. In 1991 she moved to Basel, where she studied electronic music and harpsichord at the Musik-Akademie Basel.
A series of tape pieces reflected her search for strong and clear means of expression and led to their own idiom. After a phase of intensive activity in electro-acoustic music, she returned to instrumental composition. Special sounds and high expressivity characterise her work, both with and without electronic elements.
Her pieces have been performed in many concerts and festivals for contemporary music, such as ISCM World Music Days, International Computer Music Conference, Gaudeamus Music Week, Synthese in Bourges (F), Asian Composers League, Pan Music Festival (Seoul).


Alma Mahler

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – 5 songs: Die stille Stadt (Dehmel); In meines Vaters Garten (Hartleben); Laue Sommernacht (Falke); Bei dir ist es traut (Rilke); Ich wandle unter Blumen (Heine) 

During the time she was active artistically, Alma Mahler née Schindler (1879–1964) composed more than a hundred songs, various instrumental pieces, and the beginnings of an opera. Of her complete output, only 17 songs have survived. When he proposed to Alma, Gustav Mahler made it clear that his wife must give up her music. Alma Mahler was a significant personality of the artistic, musical and literary scene in the first half of the twentieth century. After Mahler’s death, she married the architect Walter Gropius, then the poet Franz Werfel and was the lover of the painter Oskar Kokoschka.


Emilie Mayer

frauenkomponiert 2021 Trio in B flat minor for Piano, Violin and Cello op. 16: Allegro di molto e con brio; Un poco Adagio; Scherzo.
Allegro assai;Finale Allegro
frauenkomponiert 2016 – Symphony No. 5 in F Minor

Emilie Mayer (1812–83) had piano lessons from an early age and after her schooling went on to study composition with Carl Loewe in Stettin. In 1847 she moved to Berlin for intensive studies of double counterpoint and fugue with Adolf Bernhard Marx. From 1850 she regularly organised concerts for an invited audience, presenting her own works and those of others.
In her time, Emilie Mayer was a very well known composer and was baptised the “female Beethoven” by enthusiastic critics. She devoted herself exclusively to composition and wrote amongst other works 4 overtures, 6 symphonies, a piano concerto, chamber music, and numerous songs. After her death, her extensive and diverse works were gradually forgotten. Amongst the orchestral works, only the 5th and 6th symphonies have been published; the remaining manuscripts are in Berlin.


Cécile Marti

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Wave trip (2011 rev. 2020) world premiere of the revised version; Wave trip (2011) for large orchestra

Forming Sculpture für piano trio (2017–18)

Born in the canton of Zurich, Cécile Marti developed a great passion for music at an early age thanks to her artistic environment and began learning to play the violin and piano at the age of eight. At the age of 13, she took violin lessons with Bettina Boller, who introduced her to new music. During her violin studies with Mariann Häberli at the Zurich Conservatory, she turned to composition and subsequently decided to study composition with Dieter Ammann at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. This was followed by studies within the Lucerne Master’s programme in Solo Performance from 2008 to 2010. She also took private lessons with Georg Friedrich Haas in Basel. In the summer of 2010, she received a Master of Arts in Music with Major Solo Performance. In 2011/12 she worked with Malcolm Singer, composer and director of the Menuhin School in London. She participated in the seventh Creative Dialogue in Finland, where she worked with Kaija Saariaho and others. Marti wrote a research thesis under the guidance of Julian Anderson at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and received her PhD in February 2017.

Marti’s works have been performed by Collegium Novum Zurich, the SOBS Symphony Orchestra, the Basel Sinfonietta and the Absolut Trio, among others, at festivals in Lucerne, St Petersburg, Warsaw, and Basel. In 2011 she was awarded the annual award of the city of Zurich. She has received grants or prizes for her work from Landis & Gyr, the Albert Koechlin Foundation, the Swiss National Science Foundation, and the Bartels Foundation. She was Composer-in-Residence at the Symphony Orchestra SOBS for the 2015/2016 season and was given “Carte Blanche” by the Fondation SUISA in 2018/19.


Joanne Metcalf

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Among dark Whirlwinds (2019)

The music of Joanne Metcalf, critically acclaimed as “music of great beauty” (Klassik-Heute) and “extraordinarily beautiful” (International Record Review), is known for its evocative lyricism, rhythmic extravagance, “beguiling yet subtly dissonant language” (MusicWeb International) and “beautiful use of vocal colours and texture” (Glasgow Herald). Drawing inspiration from Renaissance and medieval polyphony, ancient Georgian music, and contemporary extended vocal techniques, Metcalf has forged a compelling musical voice that “evoke[s] earlier musical forms” (The Globe and Mail, Montreal) yet is “unmistakably contemporary” (Glasgow Herald). Her chamber, orchestral, and vocal compositions have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading ensembles and soloists throughout the world.


Meredith Monk

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Ellis Island

Meredith Monk (*1942) is a composer, singer, director/choreographer, and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognised as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique” and “interdisciplinary performance.” Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound, discovering and weaving together new modes of perception. Her ground-breaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words.


Thea Musgrave

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Space Play Concerto (for nine instruments)

Rich and powerful musical language and a strong sense of drama have made Scottish-American composer Thea Musgrave (*1928) one of the most respected and exciting contemporary composers in the Western world. Her works are performed in major concert halls, festivals, and radio stations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Known for the clarity of her invention, the skill of her orchestrations, and the power of her musical communication, Musgrave has consistently explored new means of projecting essentially dramatic situations in her music. She frequently alters and extends the conventional boundaries of instrumental performance by physicalizing their musical and dramatic impact, both without programmatic content (such as the Clarinet Concerto, the Horn Concerto, the Viola Concerto, and Space Play) and with specific programmatic ideas (such as the paintings in The Seasons and Turbulent Landscapes, the poems in Ring Out Wild Bells, Journey through a Japanese Landscape, and Autumn Sonata, and the famous Greek legends in Orfeo, Narcissus, Helios, and Voices from the Ancient World); — all extensions of concerto principles. The sonic possibilities of spatial acoustics have been incorporated in some of these to enhance the dramatic effect: in the Clarinet Concerto, the soloist moves around the different sections of the orchestra, and in the Horn Concerto the orchestral horns are stationed around the concert hall. Thus the players are not only the conversants in an abstract musical dialogue, but also very much the living (and frequently peripatetic) embodiment of its dramatis personae.


Julia Lee Niebergall

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Hoosier Rag (1907)

Julia Lee Niebergall (1886–1968) was one of the ragtime composers who really succeeded in making music her whole life – as a pianist, accompanist, arranger, and composer. Like her friend, May Aufderheide, she grew up in Indianapolis in a musical family. Niebergall was a very independent woman. After graduating from school she married, but a short while later divorced and took her maiden name again. Her independence, which was remarkable for that time, was reflected in the fact that she was one of the first women in Indianapolis to own a car and drive it. In 1907 her first ragtime composition was published with success. At this time Julia Lee Niebergall also worked as an arranger for the music publisher John Aufderheide in Indianapolis. From about 1910 until the 1920s she concentrated as a pianist on her activity as an accompanist for the silent movies – until films with sound tracks took over. Occasionally she also played for ballet and sports classes; in later years she taught piano and music theory.


Dora Pejačević

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 –7 songs op. 23

Dora Pejačević (1885–1923) was the first woman in Croatia to have orchestral works performed in public. Her development into a mature artist coincides with the heyday of Art Nouveau – which comes through in her works. Her pieces can be divided into two groups – on the one hand, she composed in classical forms with the aesthetic claim of “absolute music”, and on the other, she created smaller works with a programmatic character for piano, violin, and solo voice. In these smaller works, she sometimes extended the traditional musical language. Her oeuvre also includes songs with orchestral accompaniment, a central form of the fin de siècle.

Born in Budapest in 1885, she lived most of her short life in the family castle in Našice in eastern Croatia, but also at times in Zagreb, Vienna, Prague, and Munich, where she died in 1923 at the age of only 38 after the birth of her son.


Florence B. Price

frauenkomponiert 2021 Ethiopias Shadow in America (1932)

Florence B. Price (1887–1953) was the first female African-American composer to have her symphonic compositions performed by a major American symphony orchestra.

Florence was born in Little Rock on 9th April 1887. As a child, she received music lessons from her mother, and while attending high school she published music pieces. In 1907, she enrolled at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, which was a remarkable achievement for a woman of colour at the time. In 1906 she received degrees as an organist and as a piano teacher.

During her time in Little Rock, Price set up a music studio, gave piano lessons, and wrote short pieces for piano. Despite her qualifications, she was denied membership of the Arkansas State Music Teachers Association because of her race. The worsening racial tensions in Arkansas in the 1920s convinced the Prices to move to Chicago, Illinois. There, Price had greater opportunities for professional development. She continued her musical studies at the American Conservatory of Music and the Chicago Musical College and established herself in the Chicago area as a teacher, pianist, and organist. In 1928, G. Schirmer accepted one of Price’s works for publication. In 1932 she won several prizes in competitions sponsored by the Rodman Wanamaker Foundation.

During her lifetime, Price composed more than 300 works, ranging from small instructional pieces for piano to large-scale compositions such as symphonies and concertos, as well as instrumental chamber music, vocal compositions, and music for radio. Her musical style is a blend of European classical music and the sounds of spirituals, especially the rhythms associated with her African heritage.


Katarina Pustinek Rakar

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Remember (2018)

Katarina Pustinek Rakar (*1979) studied music theory, oboe, and solo singing and received a master’s degree in composition and music theory at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her compositions are mainly choral works and were awarded several prizes in both her native country and abroad.
In November 2019, an album of her choral compositions was released in cooperation with the Slovenian Philharmonic Choir, conducted by Sebastjan Vrhovnik.
Rakar works at the Conservatory and at the Academy of Music in Ljubljana, where she teaches solfeggio and music theory.


Karin Rehnqvist

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 – Ljusfälten – for choir

KARIN REHNQVIST (*1957) is one of Sweden’s best known and most widely performed composers. From chamber music to orchestral, stage, and vocal works, she has blazed a unique cross-genre trail, exploring the borderland between art and folk music, and evolving a highly distinctive compositional and performance style. One of her signature motifs is the extraordinary vocal technique of Kulning, the ancient call of Nordic herding girls to drive in their flocks. A restless innovator, Rehnqvist’s repertoire is marked by uncompromising invention, raw emotional power, and the icy shock of the new.


Cesarina Ricci de Tingoli

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Nel discostarsi il sole

Cesarina Ricci de Tingoli was one of the first women to have music printed under her own name. She published her only surviving collection of madrigals in Venice in 1597. The fact that artistically active women had a strong public presence in Italy in the second half of the 16th century is related to its humanist ideal of education and the concomitant loss of the teaching monopoly of the church.


Leyla Saz

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021

The author, poet, writer, and composer Leyla Saz/Leyla Hanım (1850–1936), lived in the turbulent period between the final collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the founding years of the Republic of Turkey. As her father, Ismail Pasha, was the court physician of the harem, Leyla Hanım spent the first eleven years of her life as a playmate of Münire Sultan, the daughter of Sultan Abdülmecid, in the harem. Her book, “Le Harem impérial et les Sultanes au XIXe siècle”, was published in Paris in 1925. (It appeared in Turkish translation in 1974, under the title of “Haremin Içyüzü” – “The True Face of the Harem”).

In the harem, Saz/Hanım received her first musical education. Her teachers were Nikoğos Ağa (Nikoğos Taşçıyan) and Medeni Aziz Efendi and she was taught classical European music by them alongside classical Turkish music. It was fashionable in that era to play the piano, which was also very popular in the harem. So European elements also flowed into her compositions.

Leyla Hanım wrote poems for the women’s magazine “Kadına Mahsus” (“For the Woman”) and was one of the first women’s rights activists in the Ottoman Empire. By the time of her death on 6th December 1936 in Istanbul, she had composed well over 200 works. However, a substantial number of her writings, memoirs, poems, and compositions were destroyed in a fire at her Istanbul residence.


Clara Schumann

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Op. 23 ; Gondoliera

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Präludium und Fuge in D-Moll, op.16/3; Präludium und Fuge in B-Dur, op.16/2[Text Wrapping Break]Drei Romanzen für Violine und Klavier, op. 22: Andante molto; Allegretto. Mit zartem Vortrage; Leidenschaftlich schnell 

Ich stand in dunklen Träumen (Heine) op .13/1; Sie liebten sich (Heine) op. 13/2; Liebeszauber (Geibel) op. 13/3; Der Mond kommt still gegangen (Geibel) op. 13/4; Ich hab in deinem Augen (Rückert) op. 13/5; Die stille Lotosblume (Geibel) op.13/6 

Clara Schumann (1819–96) was trained systematically as a piano virtuoso by her father, Friedrich Wilhelm Wieck, from the age of four. Already whilst very young, Clara Wieck’s improvisations and own compositions were received enthusiastically. Although she considered herself primarily a pianist, composition meant a great deal to her.


Naomi Shemer

frauenkomponiert 2021

Noa Noa
העיר הלבנה
Ha’ir Halevana. The white city
כי סערת עליי
Ki sa’art Alay Because you stormed over me
ליל אמש
Emesh Last night
אני גיטרה
Ani Gitarra I am a guitar
שירת העשבים
Shirat Ha’asavim The singing of the weeds
בשדות בית לחם
Bisdot Beit Lechem In the fields of Bethlehem
פגישה לאין קץ
Pgisha Le’eyn Ketz An endless meeting
ירושלים של זהב
Yerushalayim shel Zahav Jerusalem of gold

Composer, songwriter, and performer, Naomi Shemer (1930–2004), was hailed as the “First Lady of Israeli song and poetry”. She was born at kevuẓat Kinneret and there, with her mother’s encouragement, started playing the piano at the age of six. She subsequently studied music at the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Academies of Music. Returning to kevuẓat Kinneret as a music teacher, she composed her first songs especially for children.

In 1956 she moved to Tel Aviv, where she wrote music for the theater, the Army entertainment troupes, and for various ensembles. Her songs, for most of which she wrote both the lyrics and music, became very popular and are considered as part of the Israeli song canon. In 1967, after being commissioned by the Israel Broadcasting Authority to write a song for their annual song festival, she wrote “Jerusalem of Gold”. The song was originally composed from a personal perspective, focusing on Shemer’s own memories of the city, but soon acquired a symbolic and national meaning, gaining a unique status in the repertoire of modern Hebrew songs.

By the mid-1980s there was not an Israeli singer or ensemble that had not performed one of Shemer’s songs. Nicknamed the “national songwriter”, she demonstrated a unique ability to express the national mood. Her honors included the Israel Prize for Israeli song (1982), Jerusalem Prize (1983), and honorary doctorates from the universities of Jerusalem (1994) and Beersheba (1999).


Adaline Shepherd

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Live Wires Rag (1910)

Adaline Shepherd (1885–1950) was born in the American state of Iowa, where she probably received music lessons as part of her school education. She was probably an autodidact as a pianist. In 1907, she lived in Milwaukee and it is likely that she wrote her most famous work “Pickles and Peppers”, there. The publisher Joseph Flanner was enthusiastic about this piece, arranged it properly (since Adaline Shepherd did not have the necessary knowledge of music), and published the work. (Interestingly enough, this practice was also common for many of her male colleagues’ ragtime pieces: many musicians in the entertainment districts of the big cities played the piano brilliantly, but had never had music lessons that would have enabled them to notate their compositions). “Pickles and Peppers” became probably the biggest hit of any ragtime composer and soon reached a circulation of 2 million copies sold, but unfortunately only two more ragtimes followed this grandiose debut piece. Adeline Shepherd married Frederick S. Olson in 1910. As a wife and mother of three children she gave up her musical ambitions. In 1917, during the First World War, a last piano piece was published under the name Mrs. F. S. Olson. Adaline Olson died in Milwaukee in 1950.


Ethel Smyth

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – O schönes Weltgebäude (1913), Prelude on an Irish air (1936), O Traurigkeit, o Herzeleid (1913)
frauenkomponiert 2015 – Serenade in D (1889)
frauenkomponiert 2016 – Concerto for Violin, Horn, and Orchestra (1889)

Perceived as mildly shocking, perhaps even slightly impudent, by certain members of the upper classes at the turn of the century, Ethel Smyth (1858 –1944) reveals in her writings an ability to hit the nail on the head with wonderful humour and great humanity which remains today as striking as it is entertaining. The composer wrote ten books, loved games and sports (golf, tennis, mountain climbing…) and was a pioneering cyclist at a time when few women were allowed or dared to try. She cultivated passionate friendships with figures such as Mrs Benson, wife of the Archbishop of Cantebury, Lady Ponsonby (wife of Queen Victoria’s private secretary), Emmeline Pankhurst and Virginia Woolf, and travelled far and wide throughout Europe. She worked as a radiographer in France during the First World War and from 1911 to 1913 with the Women Suffragettes in England (winding up in prison (with them) in the aftermath of some carefully staged brick-throwing). And she wrote music… not simply as a hobby, but as a trained and tremendously talented composer: six operas, a concerto for horn and violin, a mass, chamber music including many string quartets, choral works, and much more.


Stanislava Stoytcheva (*1975)

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 A Birthday (2021)

The Bulgarian composer, Stanislava Stoytcheva, first studied piano and jazz singing at the Music Academy in Sofia, where she graduated with a diploma. Subsequently, she studied classical singing with Edith Wiens at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich and made her debut at the Prinzregententheater in Munich as Venus in Purcell’s “King Arthur”. She has won prizes in international competitions and is a member of the Yehudi Menuhin organisation “Live Music Now”. As a soloist she has performed in Bulgaria. Norway, Japan, Hungary, and Austria. She has been a member of the Young Ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera since 2005, taking on parts such as: Flower Girl (Parsifal), Young Girl (Medusa), Drag Carrier (Elektra), Papagena (The Magic Flute), Dew Girl (Hansel and Gretel), Sirena (Rinaldo), Noble Orphan (Der Rosenkavalier).


Barbara Strozzi

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – “Presso un ruscello algente” cantata for soprano and b.c.Serenata “Hor che Apollo” for soprano, 2 violins and b.c.

As her works demonstrate, Barbara Strozzi (1619–64) was one of the greatest female composers of her time and both her early madrigals and later cantatas are extraordinarily expressive and beautiful. She lived as a courtesan in Venice and was the mother of various children by different men.


Germaine Tailleferre

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Jeu de plein air 1. La Tirelitentaine; 2. Cache-cache mitoula

Germaine Tailleferre (1892–1983) was born near Paris as Germaine Taillefesse. She changed her name as a young woman in defiance of her father, who refused to support her musical education. Received her first piano lessons from her mother, she entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1904, won several prizes, and was (the only female) co-founder and member of the “Groupe des Six” (with Georges Auric, Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud and Francis Poulenc). Les Six had a great impact on French musical life. Tailleferre composed operas, concerts, piano and chamber music, as well as music for film and television.


Anna S. Þorvaldsdóttir

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 – Heyr Þú Oss Himnum Á

Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s (Anna S. Þorvaldsdóttir *1977) “seemingly boundless textural imagination” (NY Times) and “striking” (Guardian) sound world has made her “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary music” (NPR). Her music is composed as much by sounds and nuances as by harmonies and lyrical material – it is written as an ecosystem of sounds, where materials continuously grow in and out of each other, often inspired in an important way by nature and its many qualities, in particular structural ones, like proportion and flow.


Helena Tulve

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018

Born in 1972 in Estonia, Helena Tulve studied composition at the State Conservatory in Tallinn and at the Conservatoire de Paris. She writes a flowing, freely developing music that arises from the simplest impulses and sounds experimental in a natural way. In addition to composition, she has also dealt intensively with Gregorian chant and various oral tradition traditions.


Agnes Tyrrell (1846-1883)

Festival frauenkomponiert 2018 – Overture from the oratorio “The Kings of Israel”, c minor (c.1880)

Agnes Tyrrell (1846–1883) should be considered as a major European composer. She was the daughter of English teacher Henry Tyrrell, but spent her entire life in Brno (today in the Czech Republic). She studied composition with Otto Ritzler and was one of the few women to write a symphony before 1900 – her Symphony in C major. In addition, Agnes Tyrrell wrote 39 piano works, 38 songs or song cycles, 15 choruses, a string quartet, 2 overtures and a “mazurka” for orchestra, the oratorio “Die Könige in Israel” and an opera “Bertran de Born”. Only a few of her works for piano have been published. Practically all of her larger works are still waiting to be premiered.

The frauenkomponiert world premiere of Tyrrell’s Overture to the Oratorio “Die Könige in Israel” in March 2018, using the new edition produced for frauenkomponiert by Rico Zela and Jessica Ulusoy-Horsley, represents a milestone in the reappraisal and recognition of her creative output.


Ilse Weber

Festival frauenkomponiert 2021 Wiegala (arr. C. Reinhard 2021)

Born Ilse Herlinger (1903–44), Ilse Weber was a Jewish author and composer. Her social environment was made up of a variety of cultural and religious groups, and she spoke German and Czech equally well.