Celebrating Women Composers: Performance Playlist - Entrada

March 10, 2022

Celebrating Women Composers: Performance Playlist

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In honor of Women’s History Month, Entrada is pleased to release a playlist of Fred Karpoff’s performances of pieces by women composers!
Access the full playlist on YouTube.

The playlist includes 11 piano pieces, including: Amy Beach’s Polka, Op. 36 No. 5. 

Shortly after Antonin Dvorak arrived in America in 1892, he was quoted supporting the prevailing view that women did not possess the same creative qualities that made men great composers.

Only ten days later, Amy Marcy Cheney Beach wrote an op-ed in another Boston newspaper that challenged Dvorak’s views:

From the year 1675 to the year 1885, women have composed 153 works including 55 serious operas, 6 cantatas, 53 comic operas, 17 operettas, 6 sing-spiele, 4 ballets, 4 vaudevilles, 2 oratorios, one each of fares, pastorales, masques, ballads and buffas.

She went on to list prominent female composers and stated “more women are interested in the serious study of the science of music as well as the art than formerly.”

Not long after, Beach herself began to be recognized as a major composer–and the first American woman to gain international recognition. The New York Times recently noted that after her Gaelic Symphony was premiered to great acclaim by the Boston Symphony in 1896:

Beach became a national symbol of women’s creative power, and was known as the dean of American women composers.

Amy Beach was the first ‘classical’ composer from the United States who achieved success without pursuing music studies abroad, and among the first American composers to be recognized in Europe. She published more than 300 works, including an oft-played violin sonata, a piano trio, a piano quintet, an opera, a mass, a piano concerto, and numerous choral works, songs, and works for solo piano–ranging from children’s pieces to demanding virtuoso showpieces.

The Polka, Op. 36 No. 5 is the last of a brief but delightful Children’s Album composed in 1894, early in a rich library of works for the piano.

We hope you enjoy the full playlist of seven women composers and encourage you to share it with friends who may find joy in it, too!

The following composers are featured:

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