Most classical music education, at least in my personal experience, is centered around the standard repertoire of music composed by men. However, once I myself began composing, I started to wonder why I so rarely had heard of other female composers. Did they exist, and if so, what happened to their works? Have they been forgotten, or are they simply ignored?
As I’ve researched the works of present and past female composers, I’ve found that there was never a time when women musicians didn’t want to make their voices heard. Each of their personal and professional stories tends to be unique, but often has led to a sad conclusion of unacknowledged talent. But I have recognized a persistent yearning among women composers which has permanently altered my perspective of the musical world. Women have been making and composing music for centuries, millennia even!
Today in Pop music, R&B, Country, Folk, and even Jazz, prominent women performers and occasionally even composers are often found. Yet the Classical genre is in many ways still a boys’ club. There is certainly a number of great women performing artists active today, including Anne-Sophie Mutter, Mitsuko Uchida and Cecilia Bartoli, but Classical music continues to be virtually closed when it comes to the works of women composers.
I’d like to help change that: for the benefit of the working musician, the music student, the appreciative listener, and for present and future composers.
I believe it is only by means of revealing and sharing this outstanding but neglected repertoire that we can ensure that classical music has genuine value and meaning for generations to come.