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Listen Up on International Women's Day!

Our motto is, "She must be heard to be known." So on this International Women's Day, we're making sure you hear some music by womxn composers! Check out the playlist below, and read on for brief introductions to each work. If you like what you hear, we encourage you to look up each composer and listen more!

1. Clara Schumann (1819-1896)

Piano Trio in G Minor, Op. 17, IV: Allegretto (1846)

Instrumentation: "piano trio": piano, violin, cello

Fun fact: This is her only piano trio. She completed it while she and her husband, Robert, were traveling outside the city in an attempt to improve Robert's health.

2. Teresa Carreño (1853-1917)

Nocturne, Op. 10, "Souvenirs de mon pays"

Instrumentation: solo piano

Fun fact: In addition to composing, Carreño was a renowned pianist, soprano, and conductor. Her full name is María Teresa Gertrudis de Jesús Carreño García. Whew!

3. Lili Boulanger (1893-1918)

"D'un matin de printemps"

Instrumentation: orchestra

Fun fact: Despite suffering from Crohn's disease, Lili composed over 50 works in her 25 years of life and was the first women to win France's distinguished Prix de Rome for composition.

4. Zosha di Castri (b. 1985)


Instrumentation: chamber orchestra (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion, harp, violin, viola, cello, bass)

Fun fact: this work is featured on di Castri's debut album, Tachitipo. Check it out here!

5. Florence Price (1887-1953)

Symphony No. 1 in E minor, I: Allegro ma non troppo (1932)

Instrumentation: orchestra

Fun fact: This symphony was Price's first full-scale orchestral composition and was the first symphony by a black woman to be performed by a major American orchestra (the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). AND, she composed it while recovering from a broken foot!

6. Gloria Coates (b. 1938)

Symphony No. 4, "Chiaroscuro", III: Dream Sequence

Instrumentation: orchestra

Fun fact: Coates often paints abstract paintings that are used as covers for her albums.

7. Esperanza Spalding (b. 1984) (A little jazz thrown in here for you all!)

"12 Little Spells (thoracic spine)" (2018)

Instrumentation: (I'm guessing here) bass, drums, guitar, vocals, trombone, trumpet, flute, clarinet, violin)

Fun fact: Spalding just won a GRAMMY® Award, and received a second nomination, for the album that this piece is included on. She is a composer, bassist, and singer.

8. Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)

"Troubled Water"

Instrumentation: solo piano

Fun fact: Bonds was close friends with the poet Langston Hughes, and many of her numerous works for voice are settings of his texts.

9. Missy Mazzoli (b. 1980)

"Ecstatic Science" (2019)

Instrumentation: violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet

Fun fact: this work will be performed in Chicago on March 23, on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's MusicNOW series, and Mazzoli will be in attendance! Get tickets!

10. Pauline Viardot (1821-1910)

6 Mazurkas de Chopin, Series 1, No. 1: "Seize ans"

Instrumentation: piano and soprano

Fun fact: Viardot was also a renowned singer, and a leading figure in 19th century French musical life. In other words: She was FAMOUS!

11. Gabriella Smith (b. 1991)

"Tessellations" (2018)

Instrumentation: violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, trumpet

Fun fact: Smith recently completed a residency at the Instituto Sacatar on the island of Itaparica in Bahia, Brazil. Whoa!

12. Reena Esmail (b. 1983)

"Jhula-Jhule" (2013)

Instrumentation: violin and piano

Fun fact: This piece uses five melodies from Indian folksongs, including one that Esmail discovered on a recording of her own grandfather singing.

13. Chen Yi (b. 1953)

Suite for Cello and Chamber Winds, I: Lusheng Ensemble (2015)

Instrumentation: solo cello; flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, trumpet, trombone, percussion

Fun fact: Chen has composed works for many combinations of instruments, including traditional Chinese instruments

14. Jessie Montgomery (b. 1981)

"Starburst" (2012)

Instrumentation: string orchestra

Fun fact: Montgomery makes this beautiful statement on her website: "Music is my connection to the world. It guides me to understand my place in relation to others and challenges me to make clear the things I do not understand. I imagine that music is a meeting place at which all people can converse about their unique differences and common stories.”

15. Beyoncé

"Run the World"

Because you can't have International Women's Day without The Queen.

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