WOMEN COMPOSERS 365 DAYS A YEAR

28 FEBRUARY 2018

Thursday, 28 February 2019


MEIRA WARSHAUER - USA
BORN 28 FEBRUARY


Meira Warshauer was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, and graduated from Harvard University (magna cum laude), New England Conservatory of Music (with honors), and the University of South Carolina. She studied composition with Mario Davidovsky, Jacob Druckman, William Thomas McKinley, and Gordon Goodwin. Her works have been performed and recorded to critical acclaim throughout the United States and in Israel, Europe, South America, and Asia. She has received numerous awards from ASCAP as well as the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, and the South Carolina Arts Commission. Warshauer was awarded the Artist Fellowship in Music by the South Carolina Arts Commission in 1994, and in 2000, received the first Art and Cultural Achievement Award from the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina. 

Her music has been performed to critical acclaim throughout North America and Europe, as well as in South America, the Middle East, and Asia. Her works are regularly heard on radio and have recently been featured by Public Radio International’s Living on Earth, and American Public Media’s Performance Today, the most listened-to classical music radio program in the US. Meira’s musical palette is wide, ranging from traditional Jewish prayer modes to minimalist textures with rich melodic contours, and from joyful jazz-influenced rhythms to imaginative orchestrations of the natural world. At its core, it expresses her personal spiritual journey.

♫ LISTEN


Like streams in the desert by Meira Warshauer 






DINORÁ DE CARVALHO - BRAZIL
DIED 28 FEBRUARY


Dinorá Gontijo de Carvalho was a Brazilian pianist, conductor, music educator and composer. Dinorá de Carvalho was born in Uberaba, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and began her study of piano at the Conservatorio Musical in São Paulo at age six with Maria Lacaz Machado and Carlino Crescenzo. She made her debut as a pianist at age seven playing Mozart and Mendelssohn, and later studied with Isidor Philipp in Paris on a Ministry of Culture scholarship. She continued her studies in Brazil with Lamberto Baldi, Martin Brawnvieser, Ernest Mehelich and Camargo Guarnieri.

After completing her studies, Carvalho worked as a pianist, composer, conductor and music educator. She became the first woman member of the Brazilian Academy of Music and became the first woman Brazilian maestro, founding an all-woman orchestra, the Orquestra Feminina de São Paulo. Her work Missa Profundis received first prize for Best Vocal Work of 1977 from the Associação Paulista de Críticos de Arte. She died in São Paulo.

♫ LISTEN

Pau-piá by Dinorá de Carvalho

27 FEBRUARY 2019

Wednesday, 27 February 2019


SUAD BUSHNAQ - JORDAN
BORN 27 FEBRUARY


Hailed as an 'incredible artist' by the legendary film composer Hans Zimmer, Suad Bushnaq is a musically multilingual Arab-Canadian film and concert composer whose music has been described as 'reflective and touching' (BBC The Arts Hour), 'rich and accessible' (Klarafestival, Belgium), ‘seriously beautiful’ (John Welsman, award-winning Canadian composer), 'sublime' (CJAD Montréal), and 'attractively tonal…..with the right amount of spice to keep it fascinating' (The Rutland Herald following a performance by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra).. Her piece, 'The Road to Jenin' from her film score for a feature entitled 'The Curve' by director Rifqi Assaf has recently been nominated for a Hollywood Music in Media Award in the World Music category, and won a Silver Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Original Score at the Global Music Awards. It was described by Arab music legend Marcel Khalifé as 'beautiful as the sadness of the night and the joy of the daybreak'.


In 2018, she was selected as one of six composers from across Canada for the prestigious Slaight Music Residency at the Canadian Film Centre. She was also elected as a member of the Board of Directors at the Screen Composers Guild of Canada, and won a grant from the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture to produce her new music album entitled 'Original Soundtracks from Independent Arab Cinema'. 



Suad composed short and feature length film scores that earned critical acclaim for a number of award-winning filmmakers. Her music has been heard during screenings at prestigious festivals including the Dubai, Seattle, Beverly Hills, Hot Docs, and Edinburgh International Film Festivals to name a few.


LISTEN


The Borrowed Dress by Suad Bushnaq









ALEKSANDRA BAJDE - SLOVENIA
BORN 27 FEBRUARY



Aleksandra Bajde is a Slovenian singer and composer currently residing in Vienna. In her native country she studied the violin, the piano, and classical singing at the Maribor Music and Ballet Conservatory. In 2011, she graduated in Jazz Singing from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam under the tutelage of Sylvi Lane and Annett Andriesen. During her music studies, she was selected for an Erasmus Program at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. In 2013, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts (with a focus on International Relations and Sociology) from Amsterdam University College. In 2014, she completed a trilingual Master’s program in Advanced European and International Studies at the European Institute in France. In June 2018, she completed her Master’s degree in Composition with distinction at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz, where she studied under the guidance of Christoph Cech and Carola Bauckholt. Here she also pursued a Master’s degree in Jazz Singing under Elfi Aichinger. 

Throughout the years, she has taken part as a singer and music composer in various projects in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Slovenia. She initiated several projects, among them are: Nostalgy.com, Luminosity, Self-Portraits in Imagined Places and duo clearobscure in collaboration with Emre Sihan Kaleli.

Her music has been performed in several European countries, including Austria, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands, as well as in prominent venues and festivals, i.e. Porgy & Bess in Vienna, impuls MinuteConcerts in Graz, Leicht über Linz, international festival for contemporary music CROSSROADS Salzburg in Austria; November Music in the Netherlands and Cologne Opera in Germany and many more.


♫ LISTEN

Elevation by Aleksandra Bajde

26 FEBRUARY 2019

Tuesday, 26 February 2019


MARIA BACH - AUSTRIA   
DIED 26 FEBRUARY

Maria Bach was born in Vienna, Austria, on March 11, 1896. Her parents were Robert Bonaventura Michael Wenzel von Bach and Eleonore Josepha Maria Theresia Auguste Bach. In 1897, she moved with her family to the castle, Leesdorf, in Baden, Austria. Bach's father, Robert, was an attorney, painter, and violinist. Her mother, Elenore, was both a singer and composer who has performed under the conductors Gustav Mahler and Johannes Brahms. 

Maria Bach began studying composition at the Vienna Academy of Music with Joseph Marx in 1919. Under the tutelage of Marx, Bach wrote four-part fugues, brief piano scores, and analysed the music of Chopin, Debussy, and Stravinsky. Marx would later help Bach develop her own personal style of composing.  She made her debut as a composer in 1921 with Narrenlieder für Tenor und Orchester, a song cycle which was later printed by Schott in Vienna.
  
During the war, the Nazi party established music prohibitions in Austria. Due to their preference for classical music, which was considered conservative and traditional, "modern" compositions were not allowed to be performed. However, Bach's compositions were deemed both conservative and traditional among Nazi standards and were deemed acceptable to be performed.

♫ LISTEN


Silhouetten: II. 1. Satz Garufalia (Grieche) by Maria Bach








ESTHER ROFE - AUSTRALIA
DIED 26 FEBRUARY


Esther Rofe was born in Melbourne in 1904 and studied with Alberto Zelman jnr, Fritz Hart and A.E. Floyd. A talented violinist and pianist, she worked as an accompanist, and performed with small ensembles and the original Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In the early 1930s Esther enrolled at the Royal College of Music and studied with, amongst others, Gordon Jacob, Ralph Vaughan Williams and R.O. Morris. She was there at the same time as Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Miriam Hyde, John Tallis, and later with Dulcie Holland. It was at the College that she committed herself to composition.

During World War II Rofe worked at the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), and the Colgate-Palmolive Radio Unit in Sydney where she began arranging and composing music. Rofe began composing for ballet in 1943. The Esther Rofe Songbook was published in Melbourne in December 1999.

Rofe and her sister Edith moved to Southport where Rofe lived and worked for twenty years by the sea. She never married, but fostered a child. She died in February 2000 and her ashes were scattered in Southport Bay.  The Esther Rofe Award was established in her honor at the University of Melbourne in Australia.


♫ LISTEN

Dinah's Song by Esther Rofe

25 FEBRUARY 2019

Monday, 25 February 2019

DOROTHY HOWELL - UK   
BORN 25 FEBRUARY


Dorothy Howell was an exceptional British musician, who composed over 130 pieces during her lifetime. Dorothy was born in Handsworth, Birmingham in 1898. Her five siblings were all musical, and their father, an ironmaster by trade, was a self-taught pianist, who became the Musical Director at their local church. Dorothy’s mother was also musical, an accomplished violinist & soprano. The family used to spend time singing and playing together.

In 1919 Dorothy got her big break. After her first piano recital was particularly well received, a symphonic poem she had written called Lamia, inspired by the Keats poem of the same name, was chosen by Sir Joseph Henry Wood to be played at The Proms! It was performed to great acclaim, and after the initial performance, it was performed four more times. In subsequent years at The Proms Lamia was performed a total of nine times between 1919 and 1940.

As well as her career composing and teaching at RAM, she also taught around the UK, including in her home town at the Birmingham School of Music, and even produced her own training manuals. Her pupils describe her as a wonderful, warm, teacher.

♫ LISTEN


Piano Concert in D minor by Dorothy Howell



ANNA CEDERBERG-ORRETEG - SWEDEN  
BORN 25 FEBRUARY

Anna Cederberg-Orreteg, composer and music teacher, born in Stockholm/Sweden 1958. She has a degree from Royal College of Music in Stockholm. Cederberg-Orreteg divides her work between being a composer and as a music teacher in Adolf Fredrik/Farsta, Stockholm.

Her compositions for children and youth choir are widely spread and often used and also her arrangements in pop/jazz style for the amateur ensemble. For professional choir she’s written ”Memories Look at Me” (T. Tranströmer) and ”Sonnet 8 - Music to Hear” (W. Shakespeare) just to mention a few.
♫ LISTEN

Skisser til Aftonland by Anna Cederberg-Orreteg






24 FEBRUARY 2019

Sunday, 24 February 2019

EDITH MARY HARRHY - UK   
BORN 24 FEBRUARY

Edith Harrhy composed under a number of pseudonyms, and although renowned in her lifetime, was not recognised accordingly in historic records. Born in London, Edith Harrhy married an Australian in 1919, and settled in Melbourne. Her recitals were enormously popular, as she would play, sing, and then end up telling anecdotes. She composed under a number of pseudonyms, and although renowned in her lifetime, was not recognised accordingly in historic records.

Edith Mary Harrhy was educated at Shenley House School, London, and took her first Trinity College examination at the age of seven. Later she entered the Guildhall School of Music as an Ernest Palmer Scholar and here she studied piano, singing, harmony, counterpoint and opera. During this time she was the recipient of a number of annual scholarships and prizes. In 1914 Edith went on tour with English violinist Mary Law and it was during her travels that she met William Constant Beckx Daly in Australia. The pair married on 8 April 1919 in London, before returning to Melbourne.

During the 1920s Edith travelled with her husband for his work, all-the-while performing for charities, clubs and societies. From 1930 to 1933 Edith and her family lived in London, where she continued giving recitals. On her return to Melbourne, she began her work with amateur and semi-professional musical-theatre groups. She was involved with Gertrude Johnson's Australian National Theatre Movement from its inception in 1935, and was its musical director in 1940-48. She also worked as musical director with the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Victoria, the Q Guild and the Lyric Light Opera Society. Edith also worked as staff coach and accompanist for the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Opera Society from 1950.
♫ LISTEN


Thought I Heard a Magpie Call by Edith Harrhy










JOSEPHINE McGILL - USA
BORN 24 FEBRUARY


Very little is written about Josephine McGill apart from the fact that she was an American composer and musical historian born in Louisville, KY. on October 20, 1877 and died on February 24, 1919. She was an authority on the songs of the Southern Appalachians.

After attending and graduating from Presentation Academy in Louisville Girl's High School, she devoted her career to music study and composition. She studied piano, organ and voice.

♫ LISTEN

Duna by Josephine McGill






23 FEBRUARY 2019

Saturday, 23 February 2019

RUTH GIPPS - UK   
BORN 23 FEBRUARY

Ruth Gipps was an accomplished all-round musician, as a soloist on both oboe and piano as well as a prolific composer. Her repertoire included works such as Arthur Bliss's Piano Concerto and Constant Lambert's The Rio Grande. When she was 33 a hand injury ended her performance career, and she decided to focus her energies on conducting and composition.

An early success came when Sir Henry Wood conducted her tone poem Knight in Armour at the last night of the Proms in 1942. A turning point in Gipps' career was the Symphony No. 2, Op. 30, first performed in 1946, which showed the beginnings of her mature style. Gipps' music is marked by a skilful use of instrumental colour, and often shows the influence of Vaughan Williams, rejecting the trends in avant-garde modern music such as serialism and twelve-tone music. She considered her orchestral works, her five symphonies in particular, as her greatest works. Two substantial piano concertos were also produced. After the war, Gipps turned her attention to chamber music, and in 1956 she won the Cobbett prize of the Society of Women Musicians for her Clarinet Sonata, Op. 45.

Her early career was affected strongly by discrimination against women in the male-dominated ranks of music (and particularly composition), by professors and judges as well as the world of music criticism. (For example, she was not even considered for the post of conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where her longtime associate George Weldon vacated it, because the thought of a woman conductor was "indecent".) Because of it she developed a tough personality that many found off-putting, and a fierce determination to prove herself through her work.

She founded the London Repertoire Orchestra in 1955 as an opportunity for young professional musicians to become exposed to a wide range of music, and the Chanticleer Orchestra in 1961,a professional ensemble which included a work by a living composer in each of its programs, often a premiere performance. Later she would take faculty posts at Trinity College, London (1959 to 1966), the Royal College of Music (1967 to 1977), and then Kingston Polytechnic at Gypsy Hill.

♫ LISTEN


Seascapes Op. 53 by Ruth Gipps





ELINOR WAREEN - USA  
BORN 23 FEBRUARY

The American pianist and composer, Elinor Remick Warren, studied piano as a small child with Kathryn Cocke, taking up composition studies at 14. Her first works were pubIlished while she was still in high school. After attending Mills College in Oakland, California, she studied with Olga Steeb, Paolo Gallico, Frank La Forge, and Clarence Dickinson in New York. Much later she received training from Boulanger in Paris (1959).

Elinor composed in a predominantly neo-Romantic style. She attended Mills College, where she studied piano with Leopold Godowsky and Harold Bauer. Her composition instructors included Olga Steeb, Paolo Gallico, Frank La Forge, Clarence Dickinson, and Nadia Boulanger. During her lifetime she wrote over 200 compositions.

On June 17, 1925, she married Dr. Raymond Huntsberger in Los Angeles. The union produced one son before they divorced four years later. In 1936 she married the film producer Z. Wayne Griffin (1907–1981).She died at her home at the age of 91.
♫ LISTEN

Requiem Introit Kyrie by Elinor Remick Warren 




22. FEBRUARY 2019

Friday, 22 February 2019

ELLA ADAÏEWSKY - RUSSIA  
BORN 22 FEBRUARY

Ella Georgiyevna Adayevskaya was a Russian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. Adayevskaya wrote vocal music (including choral works), chamber music, and two operas. She also edited a collection of Italian songs and published writings on folk music and the music of ancient Greece.

Born in St. Petersburg on 22 February 1846 as Elizaveta/Elisabeth von Schultz, as the daughter of the prominent Estophile of Baltic German heritage Georg Julius von Schultz. Adayevskaya began learning the piano in childhood. Amongst her teachers were Adolf von Henselt, Anton Rubinstein and Alexander Dreyschock. She studied composition with Alexander Famintsyn and Nikolai Zaremba. Adayevskaya was a pseudonym derived from the notes A, D, and A, played by the kettledrum in Mikhail Glinka's opera Ruslan and Ludmila.

Her earliest works include choruses written for the Russian Imperial Chapel Choir. In the 1870s she wrote two operas. The first, titled Neprigozhaya (The Ugly Girl) (in the composer's German manuscript Salomonida, die Tochter des Bojaren, Salomonida, The Boyar's Daughter), was a one-act piece written in 1873. The more ambitious Zarya (Dawn, German title Die Morgenröte der Freiheit (The Dawn of Freedom) ) followed in 1877; this four-act work was dedicated by the composer to Tsar Alexander II, but was rejected by the censor. Later, she embarked on several solo concert tours of Europe and settled in Venice in 1882. In 1881, she composed her Greek Sonata for clarinet and piano, which used quarter tones. In Italy she collected national songs, among others songs of the people of the Raetia region in quintuple metre.

In 1911 she moved to Neuwied where was associated with the circle of the poet Carmen Sylva and published many articles on folk music.

♫ LISTEN

Berceuse Estoienne by
Ella Adaïewsky





SUSAN SPAIN-DUNK - UK  
BORN 22 FEBRUARY 

Susan Spain-Dunk was an English violinist/violist and composer.

Her orchestral works include the Suite for String Orchestra (1920), the Idyll for Strings (1925), the overtures Water Lily Pool (1925) and Kentish Downs (1926) and two symphonic poems: Elaine (1927) and Stonehenge (1929). The Suite was premiered at the Proms on Thursday 21 August 1924. The Idyll and Water Lily Pool (for flute, harp and strings) were both premiered at a British Women's Symphony Orchestra concert at Queen's Hall on 25 May 1925, and repeated at the Proms on 13 October 1925. Kentish Downs, first performed at the Proms on 30 August 1926 was revived on BBC Radio 3 in 1997 with the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Barry Wordsworth with a further BBC Radio 3 broadcast in 2001. Elaine was conducted by the composer at the Proms on 25 August 1927, and Stonehenge was produced at the Eastbourne Festival in 1929, and played again in Bournemouth in 1931.It was revived by the BBC Concert Orchestra in a broadcast from Watford Colosseum under conductor Anne-Marie Helsing on 19 January 2019. The Idyll, Kentish Downs and Elaine are mentioned in the book containing the letters of Gerald Finzi and Howard Ferguson (p. 12).

One of her most popular chamber works is the Phantasy for String Quartet in G minor (1915). An analysis can be found at the Edition Silvertrust. A recording was made by the Archaeus String Quartet on the Lorelt Label and released on 27 June 2003. A review of this recording was given by Steve Arloff. Another review was posted by Manor House Music on 21 April 2009. The autograph manuscript of the Quartet in B flat minor was written and dated March 1914 with an address of 49 Castletown Road, West Kensington, London. A review was posted in The Chamber Music Journal (Spring 2003, Vol. XIV No. 1; p. 2). More information about Susan Spain-Dunk's chamber music can be found in the book: Seddon, Laura (2013): British Women Composers and Instrumental Chamber Music in the Early Twentieth Century pp. 134–141.

Andred's Weald - for military orchestra (1925) – was conducted by Spain-Dunk on 28 February 1929 with the Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra.


♫ LISTEN


Overture The Kentish Downs by Susan Spain-Dunk 




21 FEBRUARY 2019

Thursday, 21 February 2019


LAURA PETTUGREW - CANADA 
BORN 21 FEBRUARY


Laura Pettigrew’s contributions in Canada are well known but her influence and achievement have now expanded to all over the world. Her works have received world premières by Toronto Symphony Orchestra, (Canada) GRAMMY® Award–winning I Solisti Veneti (Italy), Regina Symphony Orchestra (Canada), Massive Brass Attack (Portugal), Nicole Gi Li and Corey Hamm (Piano Erhu Project or PEP), and Foothills Brass (Canada), Borealis Brass (USA) among others, and featured on recordings by national and international soloists and ensembles as well as in the international award-winning short film, The Sky Came Down, Laura Pettigrew is making her mark on the world stage. 

Her music has been praised as “spectacular, breathtaking, inspirational” (Reel Rave International Film Festival 2013); “sublime with a style reminiscent of the television show Game of Thrones…patrons were drawn in by the composition…simply put it was awesome” (Regina Leader Post); “Bellissimo” (LA9 SAT Television Station, Padua, Italy): "Dòchas enveloped the Roy Thomson Hall, entrancing the audience immediately with a lavish, calming sound" (Broadway World).


Today, Laura has become a much commissioned, published and performed symphonic, solo, ensemble and choral composer as well as an accomplished teacher and clinician. She received Two commissions for Canada’s 150th celebration in 2017: Manotick Brass Ensemble AND Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Canada Mosaic Project, Her Sesquie titled “Dòchas” was premiered December 5, 2017 by Toronto Symphony Orchestra and November 25, 2017 by Regina Symphony Orchestra, partner orchestra for Toronto Symphony Orchestra's Canada Mosaic Project.

♫ LISTEN

Dòchas by Laura Pettrigrew








GUIRNE CREITH -UK 
BORN 21 FEBRUARY 


Guirne Creith (born Gladys Mary Cohen) was an English composer and pianist most active in the 1920s and 1930s. She received the Charles Lucas Prize in 1925, having entered the Royal Academy of Music just two years before under the pseudonym Guirne M Creith.

After her death she became known for her Concerto in G minor for Violin and Orchestra, which had been premiered by Albert Sammons, conducted by Constant Lambert, on May 19, 1936.

Copisarow's worklist mentions in all 4 orchestral works (only the concerto survives), 6 works of chamber music (though all 6 of these are lost and known only from descriptions, so their instrumentation is a matter of conjecture; the ballade might be for orchestra for example), 6 songs (5 of them published between 1929 and 1956, and the other lost- apparently her only published works), and one ballet (also lost). The recently-recorded concerto was discovered recently by family members in full-score manuscript. In all, of these, only her published songs and the violin concerto are known to survive, and the latter only because the manuscript was rediscovered.

♫ LISTEN

Violin Concerto in G Minor by Guirne Creith




20 FEBRUARY 2019

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

AMANDA RÖNTGEN-MAIER - SWEDEN 
BORN 19 FEBRUARY

Amanda Röntgen-Maier (19 February 1853 – 15 July 1894) was a Swedish violinist and composer. She was the first female graduate in music direction from the Royal College of Music in Stockholm in 1872.

Maier performed violin concerts in both Sweden and abroad. She continued to study composition with the conservatory teachers Reinecke and Richter in Leipzig and violin from Engelbert Röntgen, concert master at Gewandhaus Orchestra in the same city. During this time she composed a violin sonata, a piano trio and a violin concerto for orchestra. Her violin concerto was premiered in 1875 with Maier as soloist and received good reviews.

In Leipzig she met the German-Dutch pianist and composer Julius Röntgen (1855–1932), her violin teacher's son. The couple married in 1880 in Landskrona and moved to Amsterdam. The marriage ended Amanda's public appearances, but she continued composing, and the couple arranged musical salons and music performances in Europe of Rubinstein, Joachim and Brahms.

In 1887 Röntgen-Maier became ill with tuberculosis. During her illness, the couple stayed in Nice and Davos. Her final major composition was the piano quartet in E minor on a trip to Norway in 1891. She died in 1894 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

♫ LISTEN

Violin Sonata III Movement by Amanda Röntgen-Maier



DANIELLE BAAS - BELGIUM 
BORN 19 FEBRUARY 


Danielle Baas is a Belgian composer of Dutch origin. After her childhood in Africa, she attended the Jette’s school of music and carried on her studies at the Brussels’ Royal Academy of Music. Always fascinated by creating, she won a fourth prize at an international composition contest in the USA in 1997, as well as a composition contest for carillon.

Her works have been performed in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Bosnia, Spain, Germany, Tunisia, Brazil, China, Russia and the US. In 2001 she created the Mikrokosmos Ensemble aimed at promoting the creating of contemporary works and founded in 2005 the contemporary music Festival Emergence in Brussels. In 2004, the Ensemble receives the Fuga Award for the promotion of Belgian Musical Repertory. In 2005, she organizes a Belgian Contemporary Music festival, chamber music concerts in presence of the composers, the Festival Emergence. 

In 2010-2011, she organized concerts of women music based on the topic of ‘Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt’. In 2013, the Festival Osmose. Prix Fuga 2015 (personal Award).

♫ LISTEN

Goethe's Tribute by Danielle Baas




19 FEBRUARY 2019

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

ELFRIDA ANDRÉE - SWEDEN 
BORN 19 FEBRUARY

Elfrida Andrée was born on 19 February 1841 in Visby and died on 11 January 1929 in Gothenburg. She was the first woman in Sweden to graduate as an organist (1857−60) and to become a cathedral organist; she became organist of Gothenburg Cathedral in 1867 and remained so until she died. She studied composition with Ludvig Norman at the educational institution of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music (1860). 

As a composer of chamber music and symphonic works, she was a female pioneer in Sweden, and the same goes for her activity as an orchestral conductor. Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in 1879, Litteris et Artibus award in 1895, Idun ‘Women’s Academy’ fellowship in 1908.

Andrée's two organ symphonies are still performed today. Her other compositions included the opera Fritiofs saga (1899, libretto by Selma Lagerlöf), several works for orchestra including two symphonies, a piano quartet in A minor (1870) and a piano quintet in E minor (published in 1865), a piano trio in G minor (1887) (and another published posthumously in C minor), a string quartet in D minor from 1861 and another in A major, pieces for violin (including sonatas in E flat and B flat major) and for piano, two Swedish masses, an 1879 choral ballade "Snöfrid", and lieder.


♫ LISTEN

Sommarminnen från Bjurslätt by Elfrida Andrée



GRACE MARY WILLIAMS - WALES
BORN 19 FEBRUARY 

Grace Mary Williams was a Welsh composer, generally regarded as Wales's most notable female composer. She learned piano and violin and developed her musical skills early, playing piano trios with her father and her brother Glyn, and accompanying her father's choir. At the County School she began to develop her interest in composition under the guidance of the music teacher Miss Rhyda Jones, and in 1923 she won the Morfydd Owen scholarship to Cardiff University  where she studied under Professor David Evans. 

In 1926 she proceeded to the Royal College of Music, London, where she was taught by Gordon Jacob and Ralph Vaughan Williams. In 1930 she was awarded a travelling scholarship, and chose to study with Egon Wellesz in Vienna, where she remained till 1931, attending the opera "almost every night". From 1932 she taught in London. During the Second World War, the students were evacuated to Grantham in Lincolnshire, where she composed some of her earliest works, including the Sinfonia Concertante for piano and orchestra, and her First Symphony. 

During and after the war, Williams suffered from depression and other stress-related health problems. In 1949, she became the first British woman to score a feature film, with Blue Scar. In 1960–61 she wrote her only opera, The Parlour, which was not performed until 1966. In the 1967 New Year's Honours, she turned down an offer of the OBE for her services to music.


♫ LISTEN

Penilion by Grace Williams 




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