Musical Herstory 2.0

For centuries, the writers of musical textbooks (and the programmers of musical institutions) excluded women who composed.

Francesca Caccini (1587-1645)

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.

Click here to Register!


How does it work?

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)
 - Cecila 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

Leave a Comment