Thursday, 24 January 2019


Vítězslava Kaprálová is generally considered an important representative of inter-war Czech music. Regarded once as one of the most promising composers of her generation, her memory was almost obliterated by the end of the twentieth century before it began to infiltrate our awareness again in the twenty-first. Today, there is no doubt that Kapralova's music has withstood the test of time with admirable ease, proving its relevance for new generations of musicians and music listeners. Kapralova's legacy should not be considered only a mere torso of "what could have been," for her catalog includes about fifty compositions in all genres: piano, chamber, orchestral, and vocal music.

In her short life, Kapralova composed more than fifty works in a variety of genres. Particularly well represented in Kapralova's oeuvre are her art songs. Together with the composer’s sophisticated works for the keyboard, they have remained the most vital part of the Kapralova repertoire. Kapralova's orchestral works are also well represented but lesser known and, with a few notable exceptions, have yet to be discovered by performers. They include two orchestral songs, two piano concertos, a sinfonietta, an orchestral cantata, a concertino, a ballet-suite for large orchestra, and a couple of minor classics for chamber orchestra. Relatively the least represented in Kapralova's catalog is chamber music but the compositions she did create in this genre are often remarkable, particularly her last opus - the ritornel for violoncello and piano.


Dubnoviá Preludia Op. 19 by Vítězslava Kaprálová


Wendy Mae Chambers is an American composer, currently living in Harvey Cedars, New JerseyChambers studied at Barnard College from 1971 to 1975, where she received her B.A. in music, and where she studied with Kenneth Cooper, Nicholas Roussakis, Jack Beeson and Charles Wuorinen. She earned her M.A. in composition at Stony Brook University in New York, where she studied between 1975 and 1977.
Her large-scale music events were inspired by the work of Christo and Andy Warhol, and the desire to reach an audience beyond traditional new music audiences. In addition, she knew John Cage well and her work 12 squared for twelve percussionists (1994) is a voodoo tone poem written in his memory. By staging works outside the concert halls and into the public sphere, she has succeeded in bringing her music outside the domain of specialists and academics.
Chambers is also well known for her work writing for and performing with the toy piano. In 1994, the New York Times commented, "Ms. Chambers is not only a composer, but also possibly the world's foremost virtuoso on the toy piano."
Currently she is working on a musical system and set of compositions based on the I Ching (Book of Changes), an ancient Chinese text, which led Cage to the develop the technique of "chance operations" in the 1950s.


Mass: Gradual by Wendy Mae Chambers

23 JANUARY 2019

Wednesday, 23 January 2019


Dorothee Eberhardt was born in Memmingen, Southern Germany on the 23rd January 1952. She studied musicology and composition at Goldsmiths College (B. Mus.) and clarinet at Trinity College, London (LTCL). Upon completion of her studies, she worked in London as a composer and music teacher. In 1992, she returned to Germany and now lives near Munich. Dorothee Eberhardt's works are performed and broadcast internationally, and in 1999, her first CD, featuring chamber music, was produced (Melisma no. 07175-2). In the beginning of 2004 her second CD (Cavalli Records CCD 263) and in June 2008 her third CD with chamber music has been released (Cavalli Records CCD 297). 

Her works are published by TRIO Musik Edition, Mühldorf and edition 49 (formerly Vogt&Fritz, Schweinfurt). Pieces in album collections are published by ABRSM Publishing, London, Ricordi and Schott.


Träume by Dorothee Eberhardt


Larysa Kuzmenko is a Toronto-based composer, pianist, and Juno nominee. Her works have been published by Boosey and Hawkes, commissioned, performed, broadcast, and recorded by many outstanding musicians all over the world. Some prominent ensemble and soloists who have performed her works include: the Toronto Symphony Orchestra directed by Peter Oundjian and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra directed by Bramwell Tovey, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra directed by Jeffrey Moule, the Gryphon Trio, the Composer's Orchestra directed by Gary Kulesha, the New Hampshire Philharmonic directed by Mark Latham, flutist Susan Hoeppner, pianists Anton Kuerti and Christina Petrowska-Quilico, and cellist Shauna Rolston.

Her works demonstrate a strong affinity towards the mainstream of classical music. She imbues her music with a strong melodic sense, and a firm rooting in traditional, albeit extended tonal processes. She is currently on staff at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Music, where she teaches composition and piano.


A Prayer by Laryza Kuzmenko 

22 JANUARY 2019

Tuesday, 22 January 2019


Verdina Shlonsky was the first female Israeli composer, pianist, publicist and painter.
Verdina (Rosa) Shlonsky was born to a Hasidic Jewish family in the Russian Empire, the youngest of six children. (The Hebrew root of the name Verdina is וורד "vered" or "rose".)

The family immigrated to Palestine in 1921, but she remained in Vienna to continue her music education. From there, she moved to Berlin, where she studied with pianists Egon Petri and Artur Schnabel. In Paris, she studied composition with Nadia Boulanger, Edgard Varèse and Max Deutsch. In 1925, she and her sister a successful opera singer Judith Shlonsky (Nina Valery), who had returned to Europe, married two brothers: Sigmund and Alexander Sternik. Both couples soon divorced.

Upon settling in Palestine, she joined the faculty of the Tel Aviv Academy of Music. Among her noted compositions were "Hebrew Poem" (1931) and "Quartet for Strings", which won an award at the 1948 Béla Bartók Competition in Budapest.

She was the younger sister of poet Avraham Shlonsky, and older sister of the mezzo-soprano Nina Valery.


Three Songs by Verdina Shlonsky


Ilse Fromm-Michaels was born in Hamburg and showed musical talent at an early age. She studied music in Berlin, first at the Hochschule fur Musik with Heinrich van Eyken for composition and with Marie Bender for piano. In 1905 she began study at the Sternsche Conservatory of Hans Pfitzner and James Kwast and completed her studies in 1913 with conductor and composer Fritz Steinbach and pianist Carl Friedberg in Cologne.

In 1908 Fromm-Michaels began a career as a concert pianist, often playing her own works. She married Hamburg judge Dr. Walter Michaels, and after the Nuremberg Race Laws were instituted by the Nazis was banned from performing or publishing her compositions. She continued teaching music, and after World War II established the Hamburg First School of Music and Drama. In 1964 she was awarded the City of Hamburg's Johannes Brahms Medal. In 1973 she moved to Detmold to be near her son, and died there in 1986.


Acht Skizzen by Ilse Fromm-Michaels

21 JANUARY 2019

Monday, 21 January 2019


Clémence de Grandval born as Marie Félicie Clémence de Reiset and also known as Vicomtesse de Grandval and Marie Grandval, was a French composer of the Romantic era. She was a person and composer of stature during her life, although less remembered subsequently. Many of her works were published under pseudonyms.

Grandval was the recipient of the inaugural Prix Rossini, winning in 1881 with her librettist Paul Collin. Her earliest works were sacred and performed in churches, but she went on to write a number of operas and various popular songs and instrumental works, including many pieces for oboe. Unfortunately, the orchestral scores of some of her pieces have been lost.

During the 1870s, Grandval played a major role in the Société Nationale de Musique, and was the most played composer in this society. She also gave much money to the organisation. During the second part of the 19th century, she was a very popular composer who was admired by many critics.


Trio de Salon by Cleménce de Grandval 


Mélanie Hélène Bonis, known as Mel Bonis was a prolific French classical composer. She wrote more than 300 compositions, including works for piano solo and four hands, organ pieces, chamber music, mélodies, choral music, a mass, and works for orchestra. The organist Auguste Bazille was one of her teachers.

Mel was initially allowed to play the piano in order to increase her value on the matrimonial market, and she was quite fortunate when family friends enabled her to attend the Parisian ‘Conservatoire’. In addition, her work as a composer was fuelled by the fact that her parents managed to find her an affluent husband. Free from financial hardships, Mel Bonis practiced music as a pleasant pastime, soon producing and disseminating her own compositions. Still, practicing music as a profession was unthinkable for a woman, which eventually lead to Mélanie Bonis changing her first name into “Mel“ in an attempt to blur her gender in front of potential publishers.


Suite in Trio Op. 59 by Mel Bonis 


Sunday, 20 January 2019


Born in Togliatti, Russia, Polina has been studying music since the age of four, and composed her first large-scale work at 14. She went on to create music for both chamber and full orchestras, as well as art songs, film music, a musical theater works, an opera, and, recently, her first symphony, April Song. In June 2018, The RIOULT Dance NY  premiered Polina's first ballet, Nostalghia. The premiere took place at The Joyce Theater in New York City. This season The Albany Symphony Orchestra will premiere Polina`s new symphonic poem "Fenix". 

Polina has received many national and international awards, including the Charles Ives Scholarship from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, while her music received laudatory reviews from the press, including the New York Times. Polina's music has been performed by the Russian National Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra, the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Omsk Philharmonic Orchestra, the St. Olaf Philharmonia, the US Army Orchestra, the Hermitage Orchestra and chorus. Polina has collaborated with top conductors, including Osmo Vänskä, Teodor Currentzis, Fabio Mastrangelo, and Hannu Lintu.


Ophelia's Song by Polina Nazaykinskaya



Sondra Clark is a graduate of The Juilliard School of Music in New York City; San Jose State University, where she received a Master's Degree and an Outstanding Music Student Award; and Stanford University, where she completed her Ph.D. on an Ella Moore Shiels Fellowship for Academic Excellence. Her composition teachers have included Vincent Persichetti, Norman Lloyd, and George Perle. She has participated in master classes and seminars with Darius Milhaud, Lou Harrison, Dane Rudhyar, Aaron Copland, John Cage, and Gyorgy Ligeti. Dr. Clark was a member of the San Jose State University Music Faculty for twelve years, teaching music theory, history, and advanced piano. 

She is an internationally recognized specialist on the music of Charles Ives and a long-time Bay Area music critic. Her writing posts have included music critic of the Oakland Tribune and contributor to the San Francisco Examiner, American Heritage, Clavier, and The Musical Quarterly. Now retired from university teaching and music criticism, Dr. Clark devotes herself to composing full time. Since 1990, over forty of her compositions have won honors, including four ASCAP awards. Her works are performed internationally and have received unanimously enthusiastic response.

That Time of Year by Sondra Clark 

19 JANUARY 2019

Saturday, 19 January 2019


Maria Teresa Agnesi was an Italian composer. Though she was most famous for her compositions, she was also an accomplished harpsichordist and singer, and the majority of her surviving compositions were written for keyboard, the voice, or both.

Maria Teresa first gained renown as a harpsichordist, earning the patronage of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa of Austria. (Milan was ruled by the Habsburgs in the eighteenth century.) Agnesi was also known as a vocal performer.

By the age of twenty-seven, she was also gaining recognition as a composer. In addition to chamber music, her first major work was a cantata; Il ristoro d’Arcadia, composed in 1747 but now lost, was dedicated to imperial delegate Gian Luca Pallavicini. 

Her first opera, Nitocri, was composed in 1752 and survives. In the same year, Maria Teresa Agnesi married Pier Antonio Pinotti.

In the following year she composed another opera, Ciro in Armenia, which was produced at the ducal theater in Milan for the king of Poland. Her opera La Sofonisba (1765) was dedicated to the Habsburg emperor Francis I for the name day of his wife, the Empress Maria Theresa.


Non piagete,  amate rai by Maria Teresa Agnesi 



Marina Dranishnikova (1929 –94), the daughter of Vladimir Dranishnikov, a friend of Prokofiev and composer who made his living mainly as a conductor, appears to have studied piano and composition at Leningrad Conservatory.

If she wrote anything else other than the piece getting an outing in the Russia in the Round festival, Poéme for oboe and piano, it has proved impossible to discover. However, the work’s lyrical outpouring strongly suggests she was far from being a beginner in 1953 when she wrote it.

Described as a challenging work and lasting a little short of ten minutes, Poéme was dedicated to the principal oboe of the Leningrad Philharmonic and was apparently prompted by an ‘unhappy love’ for an oboist – the word ‘tragic’ has also surfaced!


Poem for Oboe and Piano by Marina Dranishnikova

18 JANUARY 2019

Friday, 18 January 2019


Ms. Monk Feldman studied composition with Bengt Hambræus at McGill University in Montréal from 1980-83, where she earned her MMus. She then studied with Morton Feldman, to whom she was later married, at the State University of New York at Buffalo from 1984-87 and there earned her PhD, on the Edgard Varèse Fellowship.

Her music has been premièred at Darmstadt and the festivals Inventionen in Berlin, Nieuwe Muziek in Middelburg, Other Minds in San Francisco, and Toronto New Music and in the Rotonda in Tokyo. BBC, BRT, CBC, HR, and WDR have recorded her works. She served on the faculty at Darmstadt in 1988, 1990 and 1994 and has guest-lectured at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin and has lectured and taught at universities in Canada and the USA.

Her research in music and the visual arts has led to collaborations with numerous artists, including Stan Brakhage, whose hand-painted film Three Homerics was created specifically for use with her piece Infinite Other.


The Northern Shore by Barbara Monk-Feldman 



Born in 1924, Else Marie Pade was the first person in Denmark, and among the first people in the world, to compose concrete and electronic music. During her childhood she was often ill and had to entertain herself by reading fairytales and by listening to radio plays. It was during these long-term illnesses that her imagination was sparked and she became finely attuned to an expansive spectrum of sound. Her own private, separate universe of sound.

A woman who created her own alternate paths, fearlessly crafting her own game by necessity. Not only did Else Marie Pade foray into the, at the time, particularly masculine field of contemporary composition, she ventured into the uncharted territory of experimental electronic music, where through a persistent solitary quest, her sonic universe came to expression.

Pade was active in the resistance during the Second World War, and was interned at the Frøslev prison camp from 1944 until the end of the war.


Syv Cirkler by Else Marie Pade

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