Comparing Notes
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On Record
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See the notable women who are involved in this year's programs.

Related Links
International Alliance of Women in Music

American Symphony Orchestra League

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From chants and chamber works to sonatas and symphonies, Western musical genres have benefited from the artistry of female composers. Unfortunately, a surprising lack of documentation has kept these little-known composers from their rightful place among the masters. In fact, it’s only in the past 25 years that their history has been unearthed.

Instrumental Women: Comparing Notes
This compelling program shares more untold stories of women composers and addresses the impact their missing narratives have had on the female composers of today.

The program also examines current obstacles in the world of classical music that don’t involve gender, but have more to do with time and the marketplace. As orchestras struggle to maintain ticket sales, modern composers - male and female - find it increasingly difficult to get their music played and heard.

Composers Libby Larsen, Joan Tower, Augusta Read Thomas, and Judith Lang Zaimont join host Lauren Rico to discuss pressing questions facing the industry: Are audiences interested in new musical experiences? Is there a demand for new music when only the standards are programmed? Finally, is it even possible to make a living making music?  

Instrumental Women: On Record
Prompted by a renewed interest in women’s musical history, scholars, musicologists, historians, and artists are unearthing and recording the masterful scores created by little-known female composers.

In Instrumental Women: On Record, host Lauren Rico shares rarely heard selections that were created by women from all over the world. Several historic works are complemented by pieces from more widely heralded contemporary composers.

Rico presents a wonderfully broad range of musicians and styles, from 18th-century artist Louise Duval to 20th-century educational pioneer Ruth Crawford Seeger and contemporary film composer Rachel Portman.

Ellen Taafe Zwillich, Conni Ellisor, and Mary Howe are among the other musicians featured on the program.

Lauren RicoAbout the Host
Classical 24's Lauren Rico addressed these issues with an array of conductors. They discuss their own personal experiences including the special requirements of being a conductor in the 21st century, the importance of mentoring and the "maestro myth." These stories and interviews are woven together with musical performances featuring all-female ensembles as well as female composers and conductors.

For over a dozen years, Lauren Rico has been able to combine her love of music with her passion for public radio. A longtime student of the French horn, Lauren holds a master's degree from George Mason University. She has worked at numerous radio stations in Tampa; Washington, D.C.; New York City; and Charlotte, North Carolina. Lauren has been on the staff of Classical 24, Minnesota Public Radio's national classical music service, since 1999. She and Tasha, her miniature schnauzer, call St. Paul home.

From the Archives
Instrumental Women 2001
Instrumental Women 2002


At top (left to right): Amy Beach, Augusta Read Thomas, Ethyl Smyth, Judith Lang Zaimont, Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, Libby Larsen, Joan Tower, Fanny Mendelssohn
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