For centuries, the writers of musical textbooks (and the programmers of musical institutions) excluded women who composed.
Motherhood. Quarantine. Saving one’s self from the guillotine with their piano skills. Composers of today have a surprising amount in common with composers of yesteryear!
In this second instalment of Musical Herstory, we will continue looking at the amazing lives and music of female composers from the past and the present. We’ll look at works created across the years in those typically “male dominated” genres, the dual roles of mother and composer, and music from composers whom we know very little about.
The SSO is again proud to present Saskatoon composer Kendra Harder in this six week course exploring the herstory of music that you need to know!
Classes take place Thursdays at 7:00pm (Saskatchewan time) – each class is 60 minutes.
The first class takes place on May 13th, and will be available on video to those who aren’t able to attend the class live on Zoom.
Before the first class, you’ll receive an email that gives you access to the 6 weeks of scheduled Zoom classes.
If you can’t participate in the live Zoom class, you’ll have access to the video of the class on our YouTube channel.
Week One – Composer & Mother
Our society often expects that women become mothers, but not composers. What is it like for those who are both? What are the challenges faced by women in professional spheres attempting to balance raising children and creating a career? Composers in focus: - Allison Loggins-Hull – this week is inspired by her project “Diametrically Composed.” - Elizabeth Maconchy (1907 – 1994)
Week Two – Symphony Week
We enter the "male domain" of the symphony and look at what women have done in this sphere. Composers in focus: - Amy Beach (1867 - 1944) - Alice Ping Yee Ho
Week Three – Almost Footnotes
There are so many composers (both male and female) where there is little biographical information about them, and in some cases absolutely none is to be found. As a result, these composers and their music are overlooked putting them at risk of simply being a footnote in textbooks. This week we'll spend time listening to music by composers whom we know little about. Composers in focus: - Cesarina Ricci (c. 1573 - ?) - Hélène de Montgeroult (1764 – 1836) - Eva Dell’Acqua (1856 – 1930) - Cecilia Arizti (1856 – 1930) - Lyse Gingras (b. 1949)
Week Four – Guitar Week
Solo repertoire for the guitar is a very heavy male-dominated field; but men are not the only ones to have picked up that beautiful six-stringed instrument to create music. This week will look at two fantastic guitar virtuosi whose music is finally coming back into the public consciousness. Composers in focus: - Ida Presti (1924-1967) - Catharina Pratten (1824-1895)
Week Five – Beautiful Blends
These two composers make amazing blends of music with their traditional music and the Western classical music. Composers in focus: - Tanya Tagaq - Reena Esmail
Week Six – Opera Week
This genre of large-scale works has been hailed as the grand rite of passage for any serious composer, and therefore, was denied to women. This week will look at one woman who wrote some of the first operas, and is considered the first woman to have composed an opera. Plus, we will look at what women are writing today! Composers in focus: - Francesca Caccini (1587 – 1645) - Nkeiru Okoye