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Classical Music
If you look at the listings of the major orchestras in America you will see two things in common; very few of them are programming major pieces by women composers, and almost none have a woman on the podium. Despite the abundance of wonderful compositions by women, the world of classical music has been, for centuries, a man’s world.

Saint Kassiani, earliest female composer whose works survive

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Saint Kassiani (aka Kassia) was a ninth-century Byzantine abbess in Constantinople. She wrote spiritual poetry and composed music to accompany it. She is the earliest female composer whose music has survived to the present day. Approximately two dozen of her hymns are still included in the Orthodox Church liturgy.

Listen to her music.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.