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Women in Classical Music

Illustration: uDiscoverMusic

Women in 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.

WXXI Classical is committed to help turn things around by celebrating the achievements of women:  from Hildegarde of Bingen to Jennifer Higdon, performing, conducting, composing and more. You'll hear women highlighted every day, not just during Women's History Month in March, but year round.  It’s time.

There's lots more content online, from blog posts to videos, resources for research, a celebration of Women's Suffrage and even some Classics for Kids audio features and Quizzes.  Please explore the site to find out more.

Learn more about:

Marin Alsop, conductor
Amy Beach, composer
Hildegard von Bingen, composer and mystic    
Margaret Bonds, pianist, composer and teacher
Lili & Nadia Boulanger, musicians & teacher
Francesca Caccini, lutenist and composer
Sarah Caldwell, conductor
Valerie Capers, pianist, composer, educator
Wendy Carlos, composer
Cecile Chaminade, composer
Rebecca Clarke, violist and composer
Valerie Coleman, flute & founder of the Imani Winds
Louisa Melvin Delos Mars, composer
Lara Downes, pianist, arts advocate
Armenta Adams Hummings Dumisani, pianist, educator, Founder of the Gateways Music Festival
Leonora d'Este, princess, musician & nun
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Louise Farrenc, pianist & composer
Renee Fleming, soprano
Gabriela Lena Frank, composer
Sofia Asgatovna Gubaidulina, composer
Evelyn Glennie, percussionist
Hélène Grimaud, pianist
Elizabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, composer
Kelly Hall-Tompkins, violinist
Jennifer Higdon, composer
Sharon Isbin, guitarist
Wang Jie, composer
Kiri Te Kanawa, soprano
Saint Kassiani, composer
Elena Katz-Chernin, composer
Jeanne Lamon, conductor
Libby Larsen, composer
Tania León, composer and conductor
Alma Schindler Mahler, pianist, composer, socialite
Marianna Martines, composer
Missy Mazzoli, composer
Fanny Mendelssohn, composer
Meredith Monk, composer
Eimear Noone, conductor and composer
Jessye Norman, soprano
Nkeiru Okoye, composer
Alondra de la Parra, conductor
Rosephanye Powell, composer
Florence Price, composer
Clara Schumann, pianist & composer
Joanne Shenandoah, Native American musician
Ella Sheppard, pianist and singer
Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen, violinist & composer
Breanna Sinclairé, professional opera singer
Undine Smith Moore, composer
Dame Ethel Smyth, composer
Barbara Strozzi, composer
Marcelle Germaine Taillefesse, composer
Mahani Teave, pianist, educator, and environmentalist
Augusta Read Thomas, composer
Ruth Taiko Watanabe, pianist, music librarian