Within the classrooms of most music history courses at Universities, students are taught the evolution of western music through the compositions of mainly men, if not only men. Infrequently are women mentioned at all, other than the occasional reference of a male composer’s wife. For example: when we learn about the music of Johannes Brahms, we are often taught about the strong friendship he had with Robert Schumann, as well as the drama surrounding his admiration for his wife, Clara Schumann. However, we never delve into the complex and beautiful music that Clara Schumann composed in the shadows of her husband. In this article, Alice Gregory provides a short overview of classical music of only women composers, with sound excerpts included! Click here for the article. (Featured image above is taken by Krista Schlueter for the New York Times).
Giacomo Puccini’s dominance within the opera repertoire is virtually unmatched. With operas like “La Bohéme” and “Tosca” still remaining as house staples in opera houses around the world, Puccini solidified himself as an eminent composer in both the 19thand 20thcentury. Have a read of this NY Times article to see how Puccini’s influence and dominance in the New York scene attracted the biggest names in industries within the Big Apple. Click here to read the article.
As a musician, composer and activist, Louis Armstrong needs no introduction. One of the most influential musicians of the 20thcentury, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong captivated the nation with his virtuosity on the trumpet, the timbre of his voice and his natural ability to govern the performance stage at any given time. Unlike most composers or musicians that we study regularly here at the Cali School, Armstrong’s posterity made him unique amongst contemporaries. He wrote over 10,000 letters to fans and hundreds of personal memoirs, many of which have been stored in the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Thanks to a generous grant from the Fund II Foundation, these archives are now digitized and accessible to the public. Take a read! Click here to read the NY Times article.