On March 8, World Women’s Day, and from Kaunus, we want to honor women within music history.
Since the beginning of time, musical activity has found an important representation in women that, unfortunately, has been ignored or undervalued within the history of music.
Women have not only excelled in instrumental performance and orchestral conducting but also as composers of important works. Throughout the 20th century, the female figure began to be recognized and to achieve representation within a composition, orchestral conducting, and interpretation.
Why weren’t their women dedicated to music? Because it was a space dedicated to men. The reasons why women have not been professionally engaged in music over the centuries have been no different from those that prevented them from becoming professionals in other disciplines.
Perhaps the only exception has been in female singers’ case due to their main and necessary role in the operatic repertoire from the end of the 18th century. It should be remembered that before the famous Castrati were employed and that women were prohibited from participating in operas or theatrical performances.
There are few female names associated with the world of classical music until well into the 20th century. Within the musical history, we can highlight some such as the composer Hildegarda de Bingen (1098-1179), the singers and composers Francesca Caccini (1587-1640) and Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), the pianists and composers Clara Schumann (1819-1896 ) and Teresa Carreño (1853-1917) are some exceptions whose excellence is beyond doubt. However, their large-scale recognition has only been in recent decades.
5 outstanding women in musical history
Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179)
All one ahead of its time. In the middle of the Middle Ages, women’s seclusion in the domestic sphere could not be more ingrained. Taking advantage of the lesser ecclesiastical control in Central Europe, Hildegard von Bingen gave an unprecedented turn to her career as a Benedictine nun. Become abbess of her monastery; she used her prestige to unleash her musical creativity. His contribution to medieval sacred music is remarkable.
Francesca Caccini (1587-1640)
In the Italy of the Medici, in 1587, Francesca Caccini, one of the most important composers in history, was born. She was one of the first to compose operas in her early days. His father, who was also a composer, taught him the art of music. Francesca, who spoke several languages, wrote poems and played various instruments. He earned more than his father at the Medici court, and his fame spread even outside the Italian borders.
Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677)
Barbara was a 17th-century Italian singer and songwriter. He specialized in cantatas, a piece of music where we can hear one or more solo voices with musical accompaniment, which would be a song for us.
During that time, many Italian composers wrote cantatas, such as Antonio Vivaldi and Claudio Monteverdi. But Bárbara Strozzi was the one with the most cantatas to her credit of all the Baroque composers.
Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
Perhaps the last name sounds familiar to you; it was the wife of the composer Robert Schumann. He was born in Leipzig; She studied music from an early age and stood out as a magnificent pianist and composer.
He spread the works of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms in numerous concerts. He frequently performed in violin and piano recitals with the virtuoso Joseph Joachim. In 1878 she was appointed professor of piano at the Higher Conservatory of Frankfurt.
Teresa Carreño (1853-1917)
In the 19th century Venezuela, the composer, pianist, director, and singer Teresa Carreño was born. In his family, he found his first music classes. In 1862 Teresa’s family moved to New York. At the age of 8, he began his concert career, performing in numerous cities in the United States, even playing for President Abraham Lincoln. His career included tours around the world. He wrote 75 works, among which we can find pieces for piano, choir and orchestra, and chamber music.