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Eleanor Alberga's diverse musical background combines classical training with experience as a member of the internationally acclaimed Jamaican Folk Singers and an authentic African dance company. A finalist in England's National Piano Competition, she has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, and Covert Garden. She was also the "ghost pianist" in the popular British film "Truly, Madly, Deeply" directed by Anthony Minghella of "The English Patient." Alberga's music has been commissioned and performed by the London Philharmonic, London Mozart Players, London Chamber Symphony, European Women's Orchestra and the "Women in Music" inaugural festival. Her orchestral piece "Sun Warrior" made its acclaimed U.S. premiere with the Women's Philharmonic in 1997.(11/08/97)


Beach, Amy Marcy Cheney (1867-1944) A gifted pianist and composer, Amy Beach was for the most part self-taught in musical composition. Her compositions in the larger genres of symphony, mass, and concerto were performed widely by major orchestras both here and abroad, especially between 1893 and 1914. Beach is one of the first U.S. women composers to have achieved such prominence. Her musical gifts, combined with first-class craftswomanship, earned her great respect and popularity during her lifetime. As of 1940, only three of her 150 opus numbers remained unpublished, a remarkable record for any American composer. Typical of the late Romantic period, her larger works exhibit lush chromaticism, many altered chords, broadly spun-out melodies which involve development of themes and complex harmonies.

The Violin and Piano Sonata in a minor was composed in six weeks in 1896, after completing her Gaelic Symphony. The piece thoroughly reflects Amy Beach's distinctive musical personality and technical mastery. The contrasting themes, muscular and melodious, are skillfully manipulated into a solid structural design. Each movement has its own themes, each theme its key. In the scherzo the piu lento eruption, with its change of key and meter, has an ostinato in the violin while the piano carries the theme, the violin will then take over before the return to the original tempo. The same technical excellence is sustained in the closing allegro con fuoco. (10/23/94)


Boulanger , Lili (1893-1918) The music of Lili Boulanger reflects a post-Romantic world. In her short lifetime, this remarkable composer accomplished a great deal, buoyed by a combination of prodigious talent, sheer will and a supportive family. The year 1910 marked a turning point. The seventeen year-old increasingly aware of the likelihood of an early death, decided to devote all her energies to becoming a composer. She was the first woman to win the prestigious Prix de Rome award by the Conservatoire. Boulanger's music is typically French and resembles Debussy. Her compositions reveal her nationality in the emphasis on color and sonority exploring new combinations, registers, and texture in the piano, and utilizing the Impressionists' harmonic palette of non-functional seventh and ninth chords, parallel chords, and modal progression. (06/11/94) (06/02/95)


Boulanger, Nadia was born into a musical family, her father a composer and professor of violin at the Paris Conservatoire and her mother a mezzo-soprano. She herself studied harmony, organ and composition at the Paris Conservatoire but she was most famous as a pedagogue. She joined the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau in 1921, becoming its director in 1950 and continuing her association until her death in 1979. Most of the best-known composers of the twentieth century made the pilgrimage to study with Mme. Boulanger, including Aaron Copland, Walter Piston, Lennox Berkeley and many others. She was known for her detailed knowledge of an enormous amount of music ranging from Monteverdi to the latest modern works. She was also active as a conductor, becoming the first woman to conduct a symphony orchestra in London in 1937, and giving the premiere of Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks Concerto in 1938 in Washington, D. C. She composed a small body of music, mostly vocal, and won the Prix de Rome in 1908. These three pieces for cello were written in 1915, and are rarely performed. All three are in minor keys and reflect her fondness for the music of Fauré. (02/19/95)


Chen Yi - The compositions of Chen Yi not only bridge and blend East and West, but stand on their own in originality, color and emotion. Beginning in China, her orchestral works have been recorded by the China Record Company and her chamber music featured in Sound and Silence, a series of films on contemporary music co-produced by the International Society of Contemporary Music. As a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Beijing, she studied composition with Wu Zu-qiang and Alexander Goehr. Chen Yi obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts degree with distinction in May 1993 from Columbia University in New York. There, she studied with Chou Wen-chung and Mario Davidovsky. Ms. Chen has been commissioned to compose for the Central Philharmonic of China, Brooklyn Philharmonic, The New York New Music Consort, Pro Musicis of New York, ALEA III of Boston, Hong Kong Chinese Opera, and Taipei Municipal Chinese Classical Orchestra. On the West Coast, she has composed for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, The Women's Philharmonic, Chanticleer, and San Jose Chamber and Oakland Youth Orchestras. Among her awards for composition are a 1994 NEA composer fellowship, a Meet The Composer/Reader's Digest award, a Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University Commissioning grant, and Lili Boulanger Award from the National Women Composers Resource Center (US). Until 1996, Ms. Chen serves as Composer-in-Residence for the Women's Philharmonic, Chanticleer, and Aptos Creative Arts program in San Francisco. She is a frequent guest lecturer and composer on university campuses throughout the United States. (03/24/95)


Clarke, Rebecca was born in Hassow. Engish composer, violist and violinist. Entered Royal Academy of Music, London (RAM) in 1902 to study violin. Later in 1908, became Standford's first woman composer. Student at Royal College of Music, London (RCM) and was encouraged by him to take up viola. From 1911 played in various chamber groups with the d'Aranyi sisters, Myra Hess, and Suggia. Composed 58 songs and partsongs and 24 instrumental chamber works. Song "Shy One" (Yeats) was often sung by Gervase Elwes. Printed works include Viola Sonata (1918-19); Piano Trio (1920-21); wrote onl y one wrok (a setting of Blake's The Tiger 1939) after 1930 until she settled in U.S.A. in 1939, when she composed more instrumental works and songs. Married James Friskin , the pianist in 1944. (10/29/95)


Gubayduline, Sofiya Asgatovna (b. Chistopol' 24 Oct 1931). Russian composer. She studied with Peyko and Shebalin at the Moscow Conservatory (1954-62). During the 1960's and 70's, she wrote primarily chamber music, which is charicterized by a radical expansion of the range of musical sound and by use of seriel techniques, as in Noch'v Memfise ('Night in Memphis', 1968). She then explored the potential of Ochestral and vocal genres, paying particular attention to th role of rhythm and time; her experiments in the role of rests culminated in the solo for conductor in the symphony Stimmen...Verstummen...(1986). In Alleluja (1990) she gives coloured light a rhythmic function and this determines the structure of the work. Her music has a strong religious basis. (09/09/95) (09/10/95)


Hensel, Fanny Mendelssohn (1805-1847), born in Hamburg, was the granddaughter of the renowned philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and daughter of Abraham and Lea Solomon Mendelssohn. As eldest of four children, she was senior to Felix by four years. Her mother taught her to play the piano. In 1816 her family moved to Paris, where Felix and Fanny studied with Mme. Marie Bigot. She performed J.S. Bach's entire Well-Tempered Clavier when she was 13 years old and composed her first song the next year in honor of her father's birthday. She studied piano with Ludwig Berger (1777-1839) and composition with Carl Friedrich Zelter (1758-1832), director of the Berlin Singakademie. She married Wilhelm Hensel in 1829. She published two of her songs in a collection with works by her brother in 1827. Hensel took over the tradition of Sunday morning concerts at her parents' home in Berlin.
Although Fanny Hensel wrote over four hundred works in her time, the majority of her compositions were never published. In spite of the fact that Hensel received practically the same musical training as her brother Felix, her father and brother did not encourage her to compose. This convinced the dutiful daughter and sister not to submit her works to publishers for many years. There is no doubt that Hensel could have composed symphonies like Felix, but she is known principally as one writing songs, piano pieces, and piano trios. Hensel was a formidable pianist herself, with a preference for the repertoire of J. S. Bach, Beethoven, and her brother, Felix Mendelssohn. However, in spite of the rise of the touring virtuoso pianist in the Romantic period, Hensel, with few exceptions, confined her pianistic appearances to the weekly concerts held at her parents' Berlin home.


Hoh,Shi-Shien (1919- ) graduated from Shanghai Conservatory of Music as a composition major in 1948. Her teachers including famous music professor Shao-Lin Tan and German professor Frankle.
Ms. Hoh is awell-known woman composer in China. Her compositions portray wide range of harmonic and melodic creativity with strong cultural traits. The piece “All the People around the World United into One” received the Musical First Prize in the Third International Youth Festival. Her chorus piece “The Proletarians in the World United” won the First Prize of the 1964 National Chorus Competition in China. Also, her children song “The Past My Mother Tells Me” was honored First Prize in Music in the Second National Children Creative Art Competition. Many musical pieces and songs Ms. Hoh wrote are reconized by most Chinese within China.
In 1981, Ms. Hoh was invited with Russian woman composers to attend the Women Composers’ Forum in Italy. (02/08/98)


Horst, Martha Callison began her formal composition studies at Stanford University where she studied with Ross Bauer, David Rakowski, and John Chowning at CCRMA. She has attended several national and international festivals where she has studied with such composers as Milton Babbitt and Mario Davidovsky. She was recently one of four composers invited to attend the Scotia Festival of Music in Nova Scotia to study with Oliver Knussen and Peter Lieberson. Ms. Horst is currently finishing her Ph.D. in composition and theory where she is continuing work Ross Bauer. In addition to her compositional activities, she is also an active singer, performing regularly with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus. (04/14/96)


Klumpkey, Julia lived in France during the post-Impressionism period. The piece was composed at the same time as Prokofiev's second violin concerto, Stravinsky's Les Noces and Bartok's second piano concerto. Although "Quatre Pieces" was composed post-Impressionism period, the pieces content impressionistic traits such as the use of color effects with harmony, evoke a mood, an "atmosphere" with suggestive titles, dance rhythms and the use of pentatonic, whole tone scales.
Quatre Pieces was composed in the year of 1932. Rayon de Lune and Danse are dedicated to Mademoiselle Diendonne. Nostalgie and Canon are dedicated to Monsieur Benoit.(03/07/97)


Lobos, Lucilia Guimaraes Villa (1879-1967) was a child prodigy, a conservatory-educated, professional pianist, composer and teacher before she met and married the best-known Brazilian composer of their generation. For more than twenty years she probably composed much of what has been credited to him. They had no children. After their separation, for the next thirty-five years, she continued to compose, perform, conduct and teach. Of her works, only a few songs for voice and piano survive. Her students posthumously collected these and many of her choral works and choral arrangements of folksongs into six volumes. As a master teacher, she organized and directed many choral ensembles, and helped design and direct Brazil's experiment in teaching singing to all children. (01/15/95)



Luengen, Ramona has composed extensively in the choral genre. Her works have been performed in Canada, Europe, New Zealand and Australia by award-winning ensembles such as Chanticleer, Elektra Women’s Choir and the Vancouver Cantata singers. Ms. Luengen’s Stabat Mater, premiered in 1995, was named Outstanding Choral Work and Choral Event of the Year by the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors. In 1995, she was named the new artistic director of the Phoenix Chamber Choir. Ms. Luengen is on the faculty of the University of British Columbia’s School of Music.(04/30/98)


Medvedovskaya, Natalia - one of the most talented and individual young composers of St. Petersburg, was born in 1974 and began to compose at age 6. In 1989 she was a prize-winner at the "Young Virtuosi" International Piano Competition in Czecheslovakia. She is currently in her last year in the composition department of the St. Petersburg Conservatory. She has written for a variety of genres, including piano miniatures, a concertino for 2 pianos, a scherzo for violin and piano, pieces for harp and flute, for woodwind quartet, string quartet, and vocal settings of poems by Pasternak and Tsvetaeva. Her works have been performed on radio and television, in Composer's House, Philharmonic Maly Zal (Small Hall) and other halls.(04/24/98)


Paradis, Maria Theresia Von (1759-1824) - Noted Austrian pianist, organist, singer, and composer. She was the daughter of Josef von Paradis, the imperial court secretary. She studied piano with L. Kozeluh, singing with Richter, singing and dramatic composition with Salieri, dramatic composition with Vogler, and theory with Friberth. Beginning in 1775, Ms. Von Paradis appeared in concerts in Vienna. She was blind from her 5th year. Mesmer, concerned about her condition, attempted to cure her, without success. She set out on a major concert tour in 1783, visiting Salzburg, Frankfurt, Mainz, and other cities. In 1784 upon arrival in Paris, she was highly praised for her appearances as both a keyboard artist and a singer at the Concert Spirituel. Mozart composed a concerto for her. She went to London in late 1784 and appeared at court and in public concerts. She returned to Vienna in 1786 and continued to tour until she found her own music institute there in 1808. Her friend and librettist Johann Riedinger invented a notation system for her, and she became a skilled composer. Much of her music is not extant. Ms. Von Paradis's works included: Stage: Ariadne und Bacchus, Melodrama (Laxenburg June 20, 1791) Der Schulkunditat, Ländiches singspiel (Vienna Dec. 5, 1792) Rinando und Alcine, Die Insel der Verfühurg, comic operal (Prague, June 30, 1797); 2 piano concertos; 3 cantatas; 4 piano sonatas (Amsterdam 1778); 12 piano sonatas (Paris 1792);Piano Trio (Vienna 1800) and other piano music and songs. (02/16/96)


Schwendinger, Laura Elise received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where her principal teacher was Andrew Imbrie. She has also studied with John Adams, Olly Wilson, Milton Babbitt and Chinary Ung. Her honors include The Charles Ives Scholarship from The American Academy of Arts and Letters, The Judges’ Commendation from The Barlow Endowment, the Norton Stevens fellowship from the MacDowell Colony, two Meet the Composer Grants, an American Composers Forum Grant and First Prize of the 1995 ALEA III International Composition Competition, becoming the first American winner in over a decade.
Her Chanson Innocente was performed by Dawn Upshaw and Gilbert Kalish at Carnegie Hall in New York, Herbst Theater in San Francisco, Veteran’s Wadsworth Theater in Los Angeles and at Wigmore Hall in London. Her new work for The Theater Chamber Players, Songs of Heaven and Earth, was premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. on February 7. She has also been performed by such groups as the New York Camerata, ALEA III, the Chicago CUBE Ensemble, Washington D.C.'s New Music Forum, the New Millennium Ensemble, Northwestern University New Music Ensemble, Vancouver New Music, Fear No Music of Portland and the Berkeley and Marin Symphony Orchestras. Her music has been called "..music of considerable power" by the San Francisco Chronicle, as “fanciful” by the New York Times, as having "an impressive luster and transparency", “poignant..” and "revel(ing) in sinewy counterpoint "... by the Washington Post, as “reflect(ting) both inner pain and breast beating wails” by the Bethesda Gazette, and as having “...an extravagant expressiveness” by The Seattle Weekly. Her works have been performed at the Aspen, June in Buffalo, Bowdoin, Bloch, Sandpoint, Pacific Contemporary, Norfolk Chamber Music and April in Santa Cruz Festivals. She has had residencies at the MacDowell,Yaddo, and Millay Colonies, the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and in July 1997, she was a fellow at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center in Italy.
Dr. Schwendinger is an Assistant Professor of Music at the University of Illinois at Chicago. For ten years she was on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Preparatory Division, where she developed a program for young composers. She has also been a lecturer at the Music Department of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and at Smith College, and an Associate Researcher at the Five College Women¹s Studies Research Center. Her Chamber Concerto reviewed in The American Record Guide as "melodic and atmospheric" is available on the Capstone label. (10/21/98)


Sergueyeva, Tatyana was born in 1951 in the City of Kalanin (now Tver'), Russia. As a composer, Mrs. Sergueyeva first attracted the public's attention in the late 1970s. In 1977 and 1979 she won the First Prize in the All-Russia Union Competition of Young Composers. In 1987 she was awarded the prize of Russia's Union of Composers for her Second Piano Concerto. In the 1980s, her pieces were performed in Poland, Mexico and Spain. As a composer and performer, she took part in the International Festival for "Artists for Peace" in West Berlin, and in the "Women and Culture" Festival in Heidelberg and "New Beginnings" Festival in Glasgow. She was also among the participants in the Sofia Gubaidulina Festival in Brussels and in the "Italian- Soviet Music" Festival in Latina, Italy and was welcomed to the Festival of Soviet and American Music in Albany, New York.

Mrs. Sergueyeva graduated in 1975 from the Moscow Conservatoire where she studied piano under I. Roschina and organ and harpsichord under N. Gureyeva. Also, she studied composition under A. Nikolayev in 1979 and 1981.

Mrs. Sergueyeva's favorite medium is chamber music, especially chamber ensemble. In her view, it provides her with opportunities to create and perform dialogues between the instruments which resemble the dialogues of characters in a play. The parts of each voice or instrument in such ensemble works are expressive and emotionally wide-ranging. The artistic ideas expressed in her compositions are extremely varied. Sometimes she derives inspiration from ancient mythology, such as in her trio "Daphne", septet "Dionysus", two songs to Yelena Kryukova's verses "Aphrodite and the Dolphin". Some of her work has been dedicated to Russian poetry from the Eighteenth Century. But in the main, her music depicts the conflicts of modern life. One can often detect a slight touch of irony in her work, even an element of parody and of the grotesque; all this interwoven however with genuine lyricism. No matter what images or moods emerge from her music, a bright and cheery optimism, with a bacchanalian "joie de vivre" pervade all of Mrs. Sergueyeva's works. (05/07/95)


Tan, Su Lian was born in Malaysia and studied at Princeton University, The Juilliard School, and Bennington College. Her pieces have been perfromed by members of the San Francisco Symphony, the Cassat Quartet and the Chicago Ensemble, among others. She has won numerous awards, including a grant from Meet the Composer and residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell Colony. Ms. Tan is currently on teh faculty of Middlebury College, and has taught at Bennington College. (02/21/94)


Tower, Joan was born (1938) in New Rochelle, New York, but grew up in South America. Her father was a mining engineer and the family moved frequently, living in Bolivia, Peru and Chile. In spite of this traveling childhood, Tower always managed to find piano lessons wherever her family was living. She returned in the United States as a teenager in 1955 and three years later went to Bennington College, Vermont, to study music. At Bennington, Tower started writing music and hearing it played, although the main focus of her musical activity was as a pianist.
Tower graduated in 1961 and went to Columbia University, where she studied for a master's degree in theory and history of music. Much later in 1978, she received a doctorate in composition from Columbia. Her teachers included Otto Luening, Ralph Shapry and Darius Milhaud. Her early works, such Percussion Quartet (1963) or Movements for Flute and Piano (1968) are complex and angular, using elaborate serial techniques.
Like so many performers who are also composers, Tower discovered that one of the best ways to combine making a living with making opportunities for her music to be heard was to form her own ensemble. In 1969 she founded the Da Capo Chamber Players, a group consisting of flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano that specializes in playing contemporary music and commissioning new works. The Da Capo Players have been extremely successful, wining a prestigious Naumburg award in 1973.
Tower's chamber works from the late 1970s and early 1980s are often inspired by particular images. For an example, She wrote a series of three pieces in memory of her father which each explore the properties of a different mineral or precious stone.
In 1984 Tower stopped performing with the Da Capo Players in order to concentrate on composition, although she continued to teach at Bard College in Annandale, New York where she has worked since 1972. From 1985 to 1988 she was composer-in-residence fro St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. Her first work for the orchestra "Silver Ladders" (1986) won an international Grawerneyer Award and has been performed all over the world.
That year Tower also wrote the first in her series Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman. The first fanfare, for brass and percussion, was a tribute to Aaron Copland(composer of Fanfare for the Common Man) and 'to adventurous women who take risks'.
Tower's concern for writing music that works for its performers, doubtless born from her many years as a pianist, can be seen in her series of concertos, from Music for Cello and Orchestra(1984) through the virtuosic concertos for piano(1985) to the colorful Concerto for Violin(1992). A rather different work is Island Prelude(1985) for oboe and string orchestra, also arranged for oboe and string or wind quintet. This is an essentially lyrical, slow-moving piece with rich harmonies from the accompanying instruments. Recalling her South-American childhood. Tower drew on an image of brightly colored bird gliding and swooping over a lush tropical island. Tower's biggest orchestral work, the dramatic Concerto for Orchestra (1991), was first performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, one of three commissioning orchestras. The music gradually build form a threatening opening to a series of powerful climaxes interspersed with quieter moments of stillness for small groups of instrument. (01/26/97)


Zaimont, Judith Lang (b. 1945), a native of Memphis, Tennessee, holds degrees from Queens College, CUNY, and Columbia University. She is a pianist and a writer on musical/technical subjects as well as a distinguished teacher (Peabody Conservatory of Music faculty and The University of Minnesota Music faculty, where she currently holds the rank of Full Professor). Among her many composition awards, grants and prizes are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a national First Prize for orchestra music, and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Presser Foundation. Zaimont's music is frequently played in the United States and abroad. Recent commissions include works for the Connecticut Opera, the Greenville Symphony Orchestra (S. C. ), the Baltimore Dance Theatre, the Vox Nova Wind Quintet (N.Y.), The First International Art Song Festival, and the Gregg Smith Singers. Her music is published principally by Galaxy Music Corp., with recordings on the Leonarda, Northeastern, and Golden Crest labels.

Of the "Snazzy Sonata" Ms. Zaimont says:
"The work is in four movements, each of which carries a subtitle: Moderate Two-Step, Lazy Beguine, Be-Bop Scherzo, and Valse Brillante. Its form follows traditional Sonata-Allegro custom, but the musical materials derive from popular musical idioms of various decades of this century, progressively moving from the 20's to the 50's (the Valse Brillante is similar to a Broadway overture of the 50's)." (12/03/95)

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