Women's History Month provides an opportunity to highlight some of the new scores in our collection by women composers. Many of these scores are the first works by these composers in our music collection.
Tatar-Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931, Chistopol, Soviet Union) has explored mysticism and the musical styles and instruments of Central Asia as well as contemporary western classical compositional techniques in her music. In the years since 1985, when she was first able to travel and work outside the Soviet Union, her international reputation as one of the leading composers of her generation has been secured.
New scores by Gubaidulina we are adding to our collection include:
- Allegro Rustico / Sound of The Forest for Flute & Piano
- Dancer on a Tightrope for Violin and Piano
- Duo Sonata for Two Bassoons
- Eight Studies for Double Bass Solo
- Freue Dich! - Sonata for Violin & Cello
- Offertorium / Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (Study Score)
- Selected Piano Works
- Two Pieces for Horn and Piano
Jennifer Higdon (b.1962, Brooklyn, New York) did not begin composing until relatively late in life—during her college studies—but has become one of the most-performed composers in America today, and a winner of multiple Grammys. We have recently added her Hear My Voice (2012), for 3-part children's choir, and will be adding the score to Rhythm Stand (2004) for symphonic band. Among the several CDs of the music by Higdon in the library's collection is her first opera, Cold Mountain (2015) and her Violin Concerto for which she won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music. The concerto was written for violinist Hilary Hahn, who performs it on this CD.
Tania León (b.1943, Havana, Cuba) is a successful conductor and educator as well as a composer. The Los Angeles Philharmonic is one of many orchestras that have commissioned works by León. Last year, in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, León wrote the opera The Little Rock Nine, which was commissioned by and performed at the University of Central Arkansas. For her compositions she has been awarded Koussevitzky, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and she has been nominated for Grammy awards. Recently added to our collection are León's Indigena for chamber orchestra, Parajota Delate for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, and Bailarin for guitar solo.
We have recently added to the collection our first scores by the prolific, innovative, and renowned multi-media vocalist and composer Meredith Monk (b.1942 New York City). Among her many awards were the 2014 National Medal of Arts. We have added two volumes of piano music by Meredith Monk and the a cappella choir pieces, Panda Chant II, Three Heavens and Hells, Astronaut Anthem, and Nightfall, and the a capella opera Earth Seen from Above from Atlas.
Florence Price (1887–1953) wrote extensively in orchestral, chamber and vocal media. Included among the many performances of her music during her lifetime was the 1933 premiere of the first of her four symphonies by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. This was the first symphony by an African-American woman composer to be performed by a major orchestra. In "The Rediscovery of Florence Price"—an article in The New Yorker Magazine last month—Alex Ross describes the "shocking neglect of Price’s legacy" in the years since her death, as well as the recent revival of interest in her work, and the 2009 recovery of dozens of works thought to be lost. We have recently added to our collection a previously unpublished set of Two Songs by Price. "Feet o' Jesus" is a setting of words by Langston Hughes, and Price wrote the lyrics as well as the music to "Trouble Done Come My Way" (1939), which she dedicated to Marian Anderson. Hughes and Anderson were both friends of Price who were helpful with her career. Price's Piano Sonata in E minor will also soon be added to the library's collection.
The New Yorker Magazine called American composer Joan Tower (b. 1938, New Rochelle, New York), "one of the most successful woman composers of all time". To the scores by Tower already in the library's collection we have recently added several orchestral, chamber and piano music scores. The first woman to win the Grawemeyer Award in Composition, Tower was also the first composer to be commissioned by Meet the Composer and Made in America—a project formed by 65 orchestras, at least one in each state. Her composition for that project, titled Made in America, was performed in all 50 states during the 2005-2007 concert seasons, and the recording was awarded three Grammys: Best Classical Contemporary Composition, Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance.
Scores by Joan Tower we have recently added to the collection include:
- Amazon for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano - Score and Parts
- Angels - String Quartet No. 4
- Ascent for Organ Solo
- Big Sky for Piano Trio (Score and Parts)
- Breakfast Rhythms, for clarinet and five instruments, I and II (Full Score)
- Copperwave for Brass Quintet
- DNA for Percussion Quintet
- Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 5 (Score and Parts)
- Fanfares (Full Score)
- Fantasy for Clarinet and Piano
- Flute Concerto (Piano reduction)
- In Memory for String Quartet
- Incandescent for String Quartet (Score & Parts)
- Ivory and Ebony for Piano Solo
- Music for Cello and Orchestra (Piano Reduction)
- Night Fields (Score and Parts)
- No Longer Very Clear for Piano
- Piano Concerto (2 piano arrangement)
- Purple Rhapsody for Viola and Piano
- Rain Waves (Score & Parts)
- Rising for Flute and String Quartet
- Stepping Stones, A Ballet (Piano Duet)
- Tres Lent - Hommage a Messiaen for Cello and Piano
- Violin Concerto (Piano reduction; score and parts)
- White Water - String Quartet No. 5
- Wild Purple for Solo Viola
- Wings for Solo Clarinet or Bass Clarinet
- Wings for Alto Sax Solo
Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (b. 1952, Helsinki) is one of the leading composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Her opera L’Amour de Loin is one of the most performed operas written in the 21st century so far, and in December 2017 became the first opera by a female composer performed by the New York Metropolitan Opera in over 100 years. We have recently added the vocal score to this opera to our collection, as well as Saariaho's Quatre Instants, a 2004 setting for soprano and piano of poetry by Lebanese-French author Amin Maalouf, and Gates, a movement from the seven-section ballet MAA, for flute, violoncello and harpsichord, with optional electronics. A 2011 solo clarinet piece, Duft, is currently being processed and will soon be added to the circulating collection.
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich
Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (b. 1939, Miami, Florida) is one of the most popular and frequently-performed composers working today. Among her many awards are the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her First Symphony. Zwilich was the first female composer to receive the Pulitzer Prize. In addition to scores by Zwilich already in our collection, we recently added her Divertimento for flute, clarinet, violin and cello, and will soon be adding her Concerto Grosso 1985 which she wrote in honor of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Georg Friedrich Händel, and was inspired by his Sonata in D for violin and continuo.
CDs Featuring Music by the Above Composers
For Women's History Month you are encouraged to look at some of these scores by women composers newly added to the library's collection or to listen to some of the music by these composers in our CD collection: