May 24, 2019: Clara Schumann and 200 Years of Influences on Female Pianists and Composers
Throughout the history of Western Europe, composition and keyboard performance has been dominated by men. A lack of widely recognized female composers, particularly for the keyboard, has existed from the earliest developments of music in Western Europe. Since the time of Hildegard von Bingen, women composers have made a substantial contribution to the development of Western art music, despite being overshadowed by men. In comparison to men, fewer women win international piano competitions, fewer women compose music, and even fewer women gain recognition for either set of accomplishments. The bicentennial of Clara Schumann’s birth in 2019 provides the opportunity to recognize Clara and other women pianists and composers, and celebrate the rich artistry of these women that remains unknown to most audiences. The compositional output and pianism of Clara Schumann as the prime example of how female composers and pianists are received by audiences, critics, performers, and musicians will be examined. A “Top 25 Selected Solo Piano Repertoire by Women Composers List” will be provided. This Top 25 List will be discussed in length including teaching points, level, historical information, programming strategies, and where to find the music. Selected solo piano works featured in the Top 25 are by Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Teresa Carreño, Cécile Chaminade, Amy Beach, and Lili Boulanger will be represented.