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Women in Classical Music

Women who made their mark in classical music, including many whose names have been undeservedly forgotten.
  1. Hildegard of Bingen
  2. Eve Queler (2)
  3. Leontyne Price (2)
  4. Marian Anderson (10)

Anna Magdalena Bach
A profile of Anna Magdalena Bach, wife of Johann Sebastian Bach and likely his musical collaborator as well.

Amy Beach
Amy Beach achieved success unusual for either an American or female composer. She was performing as a pianist and composing works in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Amy Beach, known professionally as Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, was an American...
Amy Beach, known as Mrs. H. H. A. Beach, was a classical composer influenced by Romanticism, one of the earliest well-known women composers.

Medieval and Renaissance Music by Women
Today, women composers of the medieval and Renaissance periods are becoming better known. Many were women leading religious lives who had the time and education to devote to composition. Here are some picks of music by women composers or with female subjects and performers, selected for diversity and quality.

Thea Musgrave
A biography of the Scottish 20th century composer, known for her dramatic abstract style.

Leontyne Price
Your women's history guide brings you a biography and links for one of the most popular opera sopranos of recent history -- the first black opera singer on television.

Eve Queler
Biography of a pioneer woman conductor, from your Women's History Guide.

Nina Simone
Nina Simone was a classically trained pianist whose singing mixed genres of classical music, jazz, blues and soul -- and her music and outspoken ideas on American racism reflected and became part of civil rights and black power history. Several of her songs, including her cover of Sinatra's "My Way," became feminist classics as well.

Women in Classical Music, 19th/20th Centuries: Albums
A standard challenge: "Why no women Mozarts?" Besides the fact that there's only been one male Mozart, could we have known if Mozart's sister had great talent, given family and social roles, expectations and education for women? But some women nearly transcended those odds.

Amy Marcy Cheney Beach (1867-1944)
A musical prodigy (composing by age four, public piano recitals by seven), Amy Beach concentrated on composing during her marriage, returning to performance after her husband's death.

Catherine Hayes
A book author describes Catherine Hayes, 19th century Irish opera and concert singer, including her life, her repertoire, and her itineraries.

Tania León
Gale biography of Tania León, an internationally-renowned musician born in Cuba and of multiracial descent.

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