Women Composers

Chris Herbert was in a hurry. The vocalist and musicologist was studying the Ephrata Codex — an 18th century music manuscript — in the Library of Congress, which meant he was on the clock. Herbert was working on digitizing the Codex. He flipped through the pages, taking pictures of each one, with no time to pause.

Dario Acosta

The 2019-2020 Philadelphia Orchestra season was built around two themes – BeethovenNow (in this 250th anniversary year of his birth), and WomenNOW. And our Sunday, July 19th re-broadcast at 1 PM on WRTI 90.1 and repeated on Monday, July 20th at 7 PM on HD-2 begins and ends with compositions by French women of the 19th and early-20th centuries, with Beethoven right in the middle.

In the mid-19th century, there were few performance opportunities for large-scale works by women composers. Today, a symphony composed in the 1840s by French pianist, teacher and composer Louise Farrenc is finally getting well-deserved attention on the concert stage in Philadelphia.

Tune in on May 9th from 6 am to 12 noon for a Mother's Day Weekend edition of Saturday Morning Classical Coffeehouse featuring music by women composers and performers, as well as classical favorites and surprises.

March 16, 2020. Composer Ina Boyle (1889-1967) lived all of her 78 years in one idyllic place—her family home, Bushey Park, in Enniskerry, a village at the foot of the Ireland’s Wicklow Mountains. While a mere 25 miles to Dublin, it was dramatically disconnected to the capital city’s social and cultural life.

March 9, 2020. In For Love of You, pianist Lara Downes pays homage to the 19th-century pianist and composer Clara Wieck Schumann, playing solo piano works created by both Clara and Robert Schumann during a forbidden love affair before they eventually married.  

Matt Genders Photography

About 100 years ago, composer and teacher Nadia Boulanger was among the most influential, newsworthy figures in the world of classical music, leaving an indelible mark on countless composers of the 20th century and the craft itself.

March 2, 2020. The Neave Trio gives glorious voice to piano trios by three prominent women composers in our Classical Album of the Week. Her Voice shows how Louise Farrenc (1804-1875), Amy Beach (1867-1944), and Rebecca Clarke (1886-1979) were masters of the chamber music genre.

Pianist Lara Downes' playing has been praised as "luscious, moody, dreamy" (The New York Times) and "addicting" (The Huffington Post). She visited the WRTI 90.1 Performance Studio in October, 2019 to play music from her new CD, For Love of You and more. WRTI's Susan Lewis is host.

Listen to a sampling of new music that teenage girls have written as part of the Young Women Composers Camp, now in progress on the campus of Temple University.

Pages