23 FEBRUARY 2019

Saturday, 23 February 2019


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.


Seascapes Op. 53 by Ruth Gipps


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.

Requiem Introit Kyrie by Elinor Remick Warren 

22. FEBRUARY 2019

Friday, 22 February 2019


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.


Berceuse Estoienne by
Ella Adaïewsky


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.


Overture The Kentish Downs by Susan Spain-Dunk 

21 FEBRUARY 2019

Thursday, 21 February 2019


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.


Dòchas by Laura Pettrigrew


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.


Violin Concerto in G Minor by Guirne Creith

20 FEBRUARY 2019

Wednesday, 20 February 2019


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.


Violin Sonata III Movement by Amanda Röntgen-Maier


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).


Goethe's Tribute by Danielle Baas

19 FEBRUARY 2019

Tuesday, 19 February 2019


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.


Sommarminnen från Bjurslätt by Elfrida Andrée


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.


Penilion by Grace Williams 

18 FEBRUARY 2019

Monday, 18 February 2019


Alice Shields is an American classical composer. She is a respected electronic composer particularly known for her cross-cultural work in opera. As a performer, Shields has been a professional opera singer, performing both traditional and modern roles with the New York City Opera, Metropolitan Opera At-The-Forum, Washington National Opera, Clarion Music Society, Wolf Trap Opera, the Lake George Opera Festival and other opera companies.

During the 1990s she intensively studied and performed South Indian Bharata Natyam dance-drama as a vocalist, performing nattuvangam, a form of South Indian rhythmic recitation with the Swati Bhise Bharata Natyam Dance Company, at venues including the United Nations, Asia Society and Wesleyan University. All Shields' compositions since 2000 reflect her immersion in Indian classical music and drama. Since 2016 Shields has been involved in the study of Noh theater.


Dance Piece no 3 by Alice Shields


Lycia de Biase was born in Vitoria, Espirito Santo, Brazil. She was the daughter of Commander Pietrângelo De Biase, born in Castellucci Superiore, Italy (1884) and Maria Arcângela Vivacqua De Biase, born in Muniz Freire, Espirito Santo. Lycia began her studies in Rio de Janeiro with Neusa Franca for piano and Giovanni Giannetti for harmony and composition, and later continued her studies with Magdalena Tagliaferro.


Vorei dirti by Lycia de Biase Bidart  

17 FEBRUARY 2019

Sunday, 17 February 2019


Based in Toronto, Rose Bolton creates music for documentary films. She is also well established as a composer who creates and envisions new sounds in the areas of classical and electronic music.

She has written and produced full scores for four hour-long television documentaries for the CBC main network: Who’s Sorry Now?, The Disappearing

In 2011 she was commissioned by the Canadian Music Centre to create a sound and video installation for Toronto’s 2011 Nuit Blanche. The finished work, The Crown of the Bell, was produced in collaboration with film artist Marc de Guerre, and over 1000 people experienced the piece during the all-night event.

Her concert music has garnered awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council; and her work has been performed across Canada by the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the
Vancouver Symphony, the Esprit Orchestra, Tapestry New Opera, L’ensemble contemporain de Montréal, New Music renowned Aradia Ensemble. Her music has been broadcast extensively on CBC radio and has been performed throughout Europe and North America.


Accordion Sonata IV by Rose Bolton 


Betty King had a rich and varied background in music. She received the B.M. on piano and the M.M. in composition from Roosevelt University, Chicago, Illinois, with further study at Oakland University, Glassboro College, and others. Her piano teachers include her mother, Gertrude Jackson Taylor, Saul Dorfman, and Maurice Dumesnil; organ: Joseph Lockett and Abba Leifer; Composition: Karel B. Jarik; and voice: Thelma Waide Brown. She taught at the University of Chicago Laboratory School, Roosevelt University, Dillard University (New Orleans, LA), and Wildwood High School (Wildwood, NJ). King pursued careers in composing and teaching and served as a choral conductor-clinician and lecturer in churches and universities. 

Her honors include a scholarship from the Chicago Umbrian Glee Club, awards from the National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., "Outstanding Leaders in Elementary and Secondary Education", and "The International Black Writers Conference". King was past president of NANM, Inc. Her compositions are Saul of Tarus, My Servant Job, Biblical operas; Simon of Cyrene, Easter cantata; Requiem; The Kids in School With Me, ballet with orchestration; Life cycle for violin and piano; Vocalise for soprano, cello and piano; sacred, secular novelty, choral compositions; and spiritual arrangements.


Psalm 57 by Betty King 

16 FEBRUARY 2019

Saturday, 16 February 2019


Margarete Schweikert was a German composer, violinist, pianist, violin teacher and music critic. After her marriage in 1923, she called herself Margarete Voigt-Schweikert.

Margarete Schweikert mainly composed songs. Her first attempts at the age of 12 were songs, as well as the first of her in a student concert at the Munz Conservatory Karlsruhe listed works. Most of her 160 songs were written between 1905 and 1920, 20 of which were printed between 1912 and 1920. In 1913, the fairytale play for children The Frog Prince was premiered with a text by Erika Ebert, to which Margarete Schweikert wrote the music. In 1914, The Frog Prince was repeated with a Christmas-patriotic foreplay and epilogue at the Grand Ducal-Baden Court Theater in Karlsruhe. In addition, she created choral works, compositions for piano and organ and chamber music for different occupations with a clear focus on her instrument, the violin. Most of these works were created as part of their studies.

Margarete Schweikert's powerful, concentrated tonal language is rooted in late-romantic harmony. In her songs, voice and piano form an inseparable musical unity. Carefully she chose her texts, which she sensitively set. In doing so, she succeeded in finding an adequate musical expression for serene, even witty subjects as well as for serious ones. The estate of Margarete Schweikert is in the Badische Landesbibliothek in Karlsruhe.


In Meissenheim by 
Margarete Schweikert


Antonia Padoani Bembo (ca. 1640 – ca. 1720) was an Italian composer and singer.

She was born in Venice, the daughter of Giacomo Padoani (1603-1666), a doctor, and Diana Pareschi (1609-1676); she married the venetian noble Lorenzo Bembo (1637-1703) in 1659. She moved to Paris before 1676, possibly to leave a bad marriage. There she sang for Louis XIV. Louis granted her a pension and housing at the Petite Union Chrétienne des Dames de Saint Chaumont, a religious community. She was a contemporary of Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre and Barbara Strozzi.

Six volumes of Bembo's music survive in manuscript at the Bibliothèque nationale de France as the Produzioni armoniche, most of them dedicated to Louis XIV. These contain a certain amount of autobiographical information, which has been corroborated through other sources. She was taught by Francesco Cavalli (who also taught Barbara Strozzi) by 1654 and wrote in all the major genres of the time, including opera, secular and sacred cantatas, and petit and grand motets. Her work is a combination of French and Italian styles. She uses the virtuosic elements of Italian style of the period, as well as French dance forms. Much of her work is for soprano voice with continuo accompaniment. She wrote an opera called L'Ercole amante (1707), to a libretto by Francesco Buti.


Psalm 6 by Antonia Bembo  

15 FEBRUARY 2019

Friday, 15 February 2019


Julia Lee Niebergall was a musician and ragtime era composer. Niebergall was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to a family of musicians. Her father played double-bass, her sister piano, and her brother percussion. Herself a pianist, she played at public events, as an accompanist for silent movies. and for ballet and gym classes. She also taught music at a high school. 

She is credited with but six musical compositions, two of which—Hoosier Rag and Red Rambler Rag—achieved popular success. She was a friend of May Aufderheide, one of the most popular female ragtime composers, who also lived in Indiana, and whose father published several of Niebergall’s compositions. Niebergall reportedly supported herself as a musician and teacher until her death.


Horseshoe by Julia Niebergall  


Louise-Angélique Bertin  was a French composer and poet.

Louise Bertin lived her entire life in France. Her father, Louis-François Bertin, and also her brother later on, were the editors of Journal des débats, an influential newspaper. As encouraged by her family, Bertin pursued music. She received lessons from François-Joseph Fétis, who directed a private family performance of Guy Mannering, Bertin's first opera, in 1825. This opera, never formally produced, took its story line from the book of the same name, written by Sir Walter Scott. Two years later, Bertin's second opera, Le Loup-garou, was produced at the Opéra-Comique.

At the age of 21, Bertin began working on an opera semiseria, Fausto to her own libretto in Italian, based on Goethe's Faust, a subject "almost certainly suggested" by her father. A performance of the completed opera was scheduled for 1830. However, due to many unforeseen complications, Fausto did not actually reach the stage until a full year later. It was not well received and only saw three performances.

Shortly before this, Bertin became friends with Victor Hugo. Hugo himself had sketched out an operatic version of his book Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) and between the two of them, the opera La Esmeralda was born, Hugo providing the libretto. Bertin was the only composer to have collaborated directly with Hugo on an opera. However, as the opera’s run began in 1836, there were accusations against Bertin and her family, claiming she had special privileges due to her brother Armand's connection to the government's opera administration. During the seventh performance, a riot ensued and the run of La Esmeralda was forced to end, though a version of the opera continued to be performed over the next three years. The composer Hector Berlioz, who helped Bertin with the staging and production of La Esmeralda, was also accused of providing the better music of this work, a charge he vehemently denied. In frustration, Bertin refused to write any more operas. In 1837, Franz Liszt transcribed the orchestral score for solo piano (S.476), and made a piano transcription of the "Air chanté par Massol" (S.477).

Bertin did however continue to compose in many different genres. Her later compositions include twelve cantatas, six piano ballades, five chamber symphonies, a few string quartets, a piano trio (which includes themes from both her early Fausto and La Esmeralda), and many vocal selections. Of these, only the ballades and the trio were published.
♫ LISTEN    

La Esmeralda, Act 2, Scene 2 by Louise Bertin  

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