17 OCTOBER 2019

Thursday, 17 October 2019


Francisca Edwiges Neves Gonzaga, better known as Chiquinha Gonzaga (October 17, 1847, Rio de Janeiro – February 28, 1935, Rio de Janeiro) was a Brazilian composer, pianist and the first woman conductor in Brazil.

Chiquinha Gonzaga was the first pianist of "choro" and author of the first carnival march, "Ó Abre Alas "(1899). Her plays and operettas, such as Forrobodó and Jurití, were a great success with the public because they used elements of Brazilian popular culture of the time.

In the Passeio Público of Rio de Janeiro, there is a herm in her honor by the sculptor Honorius Peçanha. In May 2012, law 12624 was enacted establishing the National Day of Brazilian Popular Music, celebrated on the day of her birthday, October 17.

Due her maternal origins and the many injustices experienced during her life, Chiquinha was a very active citizen and involved in all kinds of social movements that took place during her generation in Brazil, such as the abolition of slavery, with the Law Áurea of 1888 and the proclamation of the Republic in 1889. Many times, she has a leading position for the suffragist movement.

Source: Wikipedia and Toda Matéria


Saudade by Chiquinha Gonzaga


Rain Worthington is an American composer of classical music. Her influences include world music, minimalism, and romanticism. She has been awarded grants from Meet The Composer, ASCAP, the American Music Center, NYFA, and the American Composers Forum. Worthington also serves as Artistic Administrator and Composer Advocate for the New York Women Composers.

With a strong childhood memory of Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” an affinity for Satie’s piano music, and a love the allure of Middle-Eastern modal music that led her to travels in Greece, Egypt and Turkey, Rain has always followed her own musical instincts. She first began composing solo piano pieces, before learning music notation, and performed her works from memory in fellow artists’ lofts in Soho and at The Kitchen. With the downtown NYC club scene serving as her conservatory, Worthington led two bands and performed at CBGB’s, the Pyramid, Roulette, and PS 122.

Inspired by the energy of the contemporary classical scene, she pursued her fascination with orchestral music and taught herself notation and orchestration. Her orchestral writing has been described in the IAWM Journal as “a fusion of styles—ancient, medieval sounds expressed via modality and open sonorities, modernist minimalist ostinato, and classical approaches to basic ideas—to capture components of the human experience.”

Jilted Tango by Rain Worthington

16 OCTOBER 2019

Wednesday, 16 October 2019


Emily Lenore Doolittle (born 16 October 1972) is a Canadian composer., zoomusicologist and Athenaeum Research Fellow at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her music, frequently inspired by folklore and the natural world has been commissioned and performed around the world. She is a member of the Scottish Music Centre and the Canadian Music Centre.

Emily grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She studied at Dalhousie University (with Dennis Farrell and Steve Tittle), the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague, Indiana University and Princeton University. From 2008-2015 she was an Associate Professor of Music at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

Emily has an interest in zoomusicology (the study of animal and human song) and the natural world. She has explored this in a number of works, her doctoral dissertation at Princeton and as a part of interdisciplinary birdsong research conducted alongside biologists and ornithologists. Together with cognitive biologist W. Tecumseh Fitch, Bruno Gingras and Dominik Endres, she discovered that hermit thrush song follows the overtone series.

Of the development of her passion for bird and animal song, she has said: "I was studying at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in the Hague when a bird woke me up one morning. It sounded like human music and aroused my interest in animal song." Other predominant themes in her music include story-telling, music with and/or for children and folklore.

Her work has received numerous awards, including the 2012 Theodore Front Prize for A Short, Slow Life, two ASCAP Morton Gold Awards, the Joseph H. Bearns Prize, and the Sorel Organization Medallion in Recording.

Source: Wikipedia and Emily Doolittle Official Website


Suppose I was a Marigold by Emily Doolittle


Rebekah Driscoll (1980 in Lebanon, New Hampshire) is an American composer.

She enjoys composing for unusual combinations of instruments and voices, exploring the connections between language and music. She often writes poetry for her vocal works or constructs a text from diverse and sometimes multilingual sources. Her current projects address societal issues, such as inequality and environmental stewardship, from a perspective that is both thoroughly researched and intensely personal.

Major works include Apart/ment, an opera/song cycle for four vocalists and four instrumentalists on the theme of homelessness, and Ill on a Journey, a multilingual oratorio about navigating life with chronic illness. From Liberty and Fragrant Harbors, an album of her vocal ensemble music released in 2016, was described by textura as “distinguished on compositional and performance grounds, [and] marked by the socially conscious mindset Driscoll brings to her texts.”

Originally from New Hampshire, USA, Ms. Driscoll holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and Brooklyn College Conservatory, City University of New York. Her composition teachers include Chester Biscardi, Jason Eckardt, and Tania León. She is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

Anselmi's works include compositions for orchestra, solo piano, violin and cello. Selected works include: Prelude; Gavotte; Minuet; Sonata for Piano in C minor; Sibylla Cumaea

Iwa Ni by Rebekah Driscoll

15 OCTOBER 2019

Tuesday, 15 October 2019


Laura Gertrude Lemon (15 October 1866 – 18 August 1924) was a Canadian composer and songwriter who lived and worked in England. She also used the pseudonyms Austin Fleming and Ian Macdonald. Lemon was mostly known for composing pieces for violin and piano such as "Three Moravian Dances", which was dedicated to the Canadian violinist Kathleen Parlow. However she also noted for her song literature. "My Ain Folk, a ballad of home", was at one time one of the best-known songs by a Canadian composer.

Lemon was a skilled pianist and many of her early works were written for piano. In the 1890s, her compositions began to be published as on sheet music. These titles included "Slumber Songs" and "Three Moravian Dances". Her works were performed by local singers, sometimes with Lemon's accompaniment.

Lemon began to collaborate with lyricist Wilfrid Mills in 1904. Their work "My Ain Folk" (1904) (subtitled "A Ballad of Home") remains the best recalled of their collaborations. The prominent English singer, Dame Clara Ellen Butt, popularized the song by performing it during one of her presentations. The first recording that can be traced was sung by Dame Clara for the Gramophone Company Limited in July 1912. Others who later recorded it are John McDermott, John Allan Cameron, Lulu and Kenneth McKellar.

Source: Wikipedia and The Canadian Encyclopedia


My aim folk by Laura Lemon


Lucia Contini Anselmi (15 October 1876 – after 1913) was an Italian pianist and composer. She was born in Vercelli and studied piano with Giovanni Sgambati and composition with Alessandro Parisotti at the Conservatory in Rome. After completing her studies, she toured as a concert pianist. She received a gold medal for Ludentia at the International Competition for Composers at Perugia in 1913.

Anselmi's works include compositions for orchestra, solo piano, violin and cello. Selected works include: Prelude; Gavotte; Minuet; Sonata for Piano in C minor; Sibylla Cumaea

Sibylla Cumaea by Lucia Anselmi

14 OCTOBER 2019

Monday, 14 October 2019


Kaija Anneli Saariaho (born 14 October 1952) is a Finnish composer based in Paris, France.

Saariaho studied composition in Helsinki, Freiburg, and Paris, where she has lived since 1982. Her research at the Institute for Research and Coordination in Acoustics/Music (IRCAM) marked a turning point in her music away from strict serialism towards spectralism. Her characteristically rich, polyphonic textures are often created by combining live music and electronics.

During the course of her career, Saariaho has received commissions from the Lincoln Center for the Kronos Quartet and from IRCAM for the Ensemble Intercontemporain, the BBC, the New York Philharmonic, the Salzburg Music Festival, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and the Finnish National Opera, among others.

Her work in the 1980s and 1990s was marked by an emphasis on timbre and the use of electronics alongside traditional instruments. Nymphéa (Jardin secret III) (1987), for example, is for string quartet and live electronics and contains an additional vocal element: the musicians whisper the words of an Arseny Tarkovsky poem, Now Summer is Gone. In writing Nymphea, Saariaho used a fractal generator to create material.

Source: Wikipedia and Kaija Saariaho Official Website


Spins and Spells by Kaija Saariaho


Evelin Seppar (b. 1986) is currently living and working in Tallinn, Estonia. She has written for solo instruments, various ensembles, solo voice, choir and orchestra, but she is most passionate about vocal and choral music. She has studied at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (Toivo Tulev, Helena Tulve) and at the Academy of Music of Drama (Ole Lützow-Holm), University of Gothenburg. Evelin has been receiving an increasing number of performances around the world with groups like the Netherlands Chamber Choir, Norwegian Soloists’ choir, Latvian Radio Choir and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir. Her music has been performed in Europe, China and the U.S.

Seppar has written for solo instruments, various ensembles, solo voice, orchestra and electronics and made different arrangements. She has foremost caught attention as an author of choral music. Psalm of David No. 88 received a special prize at the composition competition organised by Estonian Composers’ Union and Pirita Monastery in 2010. Brother in Trouble won the main prize at the competition of choral songs and arrangements in Võro language 2011. Sonnet No. 53 was on the program of the new music festival Arēna in Latvia in 2012. Near was selected on eof the winning works at the Ortus International New Music Competition in the USA. 

Her most extensive works so far are the opera Teine (premiere in Tallinn St. Nicholas’s Church in 2012), opera Icarus (premiere in Amsterdam Conservatory in 2014), Lighthouse for vocal ensemble and two instrumentalists (premiere in Nantes in 2014) and Cities for vocal ensemble (premiere in Amsterdam, Muziekgebouw in 2016).


Igaüks üksi, seisavad by Evelin Seppar

13 OCTOBER 2019

Sunday, 13 October 2019


Marcelle de Manziarly (13 October 1899 in Kharkiv, Ukraine, then in Russian Empire – 12 May 1989) was a French pianist, music educator, conductor and composer. She was born in Kharkiv, studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and at the age of 23 had already composed two mature works. She later studied conducting with Felix Weingartner in Basle and piano with Isabelle Vengerova in New York City and taught and performed in Europe and the United States. Aaron Copland dedicated his song "Heart, We Will Forget Him" to her. She died in Ojai, California.

Selected works include: Six Etudes (pour Piano); Trois Images Slaves; Impressions de Mer; Sonate pour Notre-Dame de Paris for orchestra; Sonata for two pianos; Musique pour orchestre; Trilogue; and others.

Source: Wikipedia


Trio 1952 by Marcelle de Manziarly


Margarita Ivanovna Kuss was born in Ryazan, located on the Oka River around 200 km southeast of Moscow, on October 13, 1921. From early childhood she lived in Moscow. Her father, Johannes (Ivan) Petrovich Kuss, was from a German- Estonian family. He was employed in economic and planning work. As a German, he was exiled from Moscow in the years prior to the Second World War and subsequently rehabilitated in the middle of the 1950’s. Her mother, Mariya Fedorovna Kuss, a daughter of an Orthodox priest, was a teacher of music.

Her works include symphonic compositions, vocal music, chamber-instrumental works and orchestrated selections for Russian folk instruments. Her compositions were performed in the Grand and Small Halls of the Moscow Conservatory, at the concerts of Congresses of the Union of Composers, the annual international festival “Moscow Autumn”, in radio and television broadcasts and were heard in many countries, including Germany, Hungary, Yugoslavia, the USA, Australia, Switzerland, Finland, Spain, Austria (Grosser Musikvereinssaal ), Holland, Czechoslovakia and others.

In 1991 she was awarded the title “Honoured Art Worker of the RSFSR” (Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic).

Spirituality and music for Margarita Ivanovna Kuss were the most important. She never strove to acquire necessary acquaintances, enhance her position and promote herself. Works of Margarita Ivanovna Kuss absorbed her thoughts, feelings and experience.

She completely devoted herself to music and continued to work hard to the last years of her life.


Lyrics of Ivan Bunin by Margarita Kuss

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