10 FEBRUARY 2019

Sunday, 10 February 2019


Barbara Kolb is an American composer. Her music uses sound masses and often creates vertical structures through simultaneous rhythmic or melodic units. Barbara's musical styling can be identified by her use of colorful textures, impressionistic touch, and atonal vocabulary, with influences stemming from literary and visual arts. She was the first American woman composer to win the Rome Prize. She received her B.M. (cum laude, 1961) and M.M. degrees (1964) from the Hartt College of Music (now The Hartt School) at the University of Hartford, and studied with Arnold Franchetti, Lukas Foss and Gunther Schuller.[ Following her various degrees, Kolb relocated to Vienna, Austria from 1966-1967 with a Fulbright Fellowship grant. She was the first female American composer to win the Rome Prize [Prix de Rome], in 1969. 

From 1979 - 1982, Kolb served as the artistic director of contemporary music at the Third Street Music School Settlement, where she presented the "Music New to New York" concert series. Additionally, she has had a professional teaching career teaching at Rhode Island College and Eastman School of Music as a visiting professor in Composition. A selection of Barbara's compositions were featured at the Kennedy Center, performed by the "Theatre Chamber Players" as part of the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. However, Kolb was not only known as a composer; but she was also proficient at the Eb clarinet.

Her compositions include All in Good Time (1993), commissioned for the 150th Anniversary of the New York Philharmonic, and Voyants (1991), a concerto for piano and chamber orchestra dedicated to the memory of Aaron Copland. Voyantswas most recently performed by Kathleen Supové with the Rhode Island College Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Edward Markward on October 16, 2006 in Providence, RI. Discs devoted solely to the music of Ms. Kolb have been released to the general public by CRI and New World Records.


Extreme for flute and cello by Barbara Kolb 



Jean Coulthard was a Canadian composer and music educator. She was part of a trio of women composers who dominated Western Canadian music in the twentieth century: Coulthard, Barbara Pentland, and Violet Archer. All three died within weeks of each other in 2000. Her own work might be loosely termed "prematurely neo-Romantic", as the orthodox serialists who dominated academic musical life in North America during the 1950s and 1960s had little use for her. Some of her well-known compositions include Cradle Song, Threnody, Canadian Fantasy, Ballade "A Winter's Tale" and her opera Return of the Native.

Beginning in 1925, Coulthard taught the piano privately in her mother's studio, and then as an independent teacher (1935–1947). In 1947 she joined the fledgling Department of Music in the Faculty of Arts of the University of British Columbia. The head of the department, Harry Adaskin, hired first Coulthard, and then (in 1949) Barbara Pentland, to teach theory and composition. Coulthard taught composition in the department, and later (from 1967) in the administratively distinct UBC School of Music (1967–1973). In 1956-7, she spent a year in Paris and in Roquebrune, southern France, beginning an opera and completing several substantial chamber and vocal works. A later sabbatical in London permitted Coulthard to work in a sustained way with Gordon Jacob, the British composer and orchestrator.

Coulthard's composition students included Canadian composers Chan Ka Nin, Michael Conway Baker, Sylvia Rickard, Ernst Schneider, Robert Knox, Jean Ethridge, Joan Hansen, David Gordon Duke, Lloyd Burritt and Frederick Schipizky. In 1978, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 1994, she was awarded the Order of British Columbia.

♫ LISTEN    

A Prayer for Elizabeth by Jean Coulthard

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