Women Composers of Classical Music: 369 Biographies from 1550 into the Twentieth Century

Article excerpt

Mary F. McVicker, WOMEN COMPOSERS OF CLASSICAL MUSIC: 369 BIOGRAPHIES FROM 1550 INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2011. 253p. timeline, bibl. discography. index, pap., $45.00, ISBN 978-0786443970.

This collection of short biographies of female composers surveys the period from 1550 to the twentieth century and is arranged chronologically by era and further divided by country. The emphasis is on women composers from European countries, although some other regions of the world are also represented. I here is a brief introduction to the musical history of each period covered.

This reference works purpose is to look at the lives and careers of women composers in the contexts in which they lived. An amazing number of women are included, many of whose compositions were lost or forgotten and never known to the general public. This book seeks to celebrate their work and achievements.

Each entry includes any biographical facts known, along with a description of the composers body of work. A list of significant works by each composer is also included. References are provided to standard sources such as Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Many women composers wrote operas, so a detailed timeline of these works is also included, as is a bibliography and a discography. …