Series 8 – Womens Writing Works

Womens Writing Works

Throughout time women have been excluded from the world of professional music and especially composing. Those few who succeeded in the compositional world were marginalised, forbidden to write certain types of music and had their reputations questioned. This series looks at the lives of some female composers from the Medieval to the present day and traces their journeys, the sacrifices they had to make and the exquisite music they wrote.

Class 1

At the beginning of the Baroque period two women established themselves as composers; one in Florence as part of the Medici court and the other in Venice where no court would employ a woman. They were Francesca Caccini and Barbara Strozzi.

Class 2

Elizabeth Jacquet de la Guerre composed in the court of Louis XIV at Versailles establishing herself as a brilliant improviser and composers. In contrast Marianna Martinez, who knew both Haydn and Mozart, mainly hosted musical soirees performing her own works.

Class 3

Fanny Mendelssohn’s life and career was as much affected by the changing atmosphere of women at the beginning of the 19th century as by her determination to compose.

Class 4

Clara Schumann’s life reads very much like a contemporary woman’s; trying to juggle a career, sick husband, children and the household finances as well as performing throughout Europe and composing.

Class 5

It is interesting to compare the very short life of Fr composer Lili Boulanger and the long life of Irish/English composers Elizabeth Maconchy, in the first half of the 20th century, both of whom discovered the difficulties of trying to succeed in a man’s world.

Class 6

Australia has a proud tradition of producing female composers. This class looks at some of these women and the changes which occurred throughout the 20th century and into the 21st.

  • Classes must be taken as a series of 6.
  • Each class runs for 1 and a half hours starting with coffee and cake. Please see website or call Andy for course times and dates.
  • All classes are held once a month and last for 1 and a half hours.
  • Minimum of 5 per class.
  • Locations are the Eastern suburbs or North Shore. They are easily accessable by public transport.
  • Address will be supplied upon enrollment.
  • Classes may be conducted elsewhere and can be customised to fit your specific group.