November 12, birthday of Dika Newlin (1923-2006)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Talk about a cross-over artist!  Dika Newlin started college at MSU at the age of 12, (she’d been playing piano since the well before the age of 6 and composing since the age of 7), moved to LA to study with Arnold Schoenberg at the age of 16, (who dissed her chamber compositions), got her phd from Columba, after which she became a noted Schoenberg scholar and taught at Syracuse, Drew, North Texas, and Virginia Commonwealth, where in the 1980s she became a punk rocker!  She also translated Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunnaire into English and performed it in 1999.

This is from Wikipedia:  “Dika Newlin (November 22, 1923 – July 22, 2006) was a pianist, professor, musicologist, composer and punk rock singer. She received a Ph.D from Columbia University at the age of 22. She was one of the last living students of Arnold Schoenberg, a Schoenberg scholar and a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond from 1978 to 2004. She performed as an Elvis impersonator and played punk rock while in her seventies in Richmond, Virginia.”

Piano Trio, Opus 2

Performing Mac the Knife

Murder City

Heartbreak Hotel

November 20, birthday of Meredith Monk (b. 1942)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Meredith Monk is a singer, director, performance artist and composer. She formed an ensemble in the 1960s as her contemporaries Phillip Glass and Steven Reich. Please take a look at “Ascension” which was composed and performed in Ann Hamilton’s Tower, an installation at Oliver Ranch (sculpture park) 70 miles north of San Francisco. It has two helix stair cases. One is for performers and the other is for the audience. As you can hear, the acoustics must make it a really special place and perfect for Monk’s work. Here’s a description of the tower.

Dolmen Music

16 millimeter earrings

Song of Ascension

November 19, birthday of Crystal Waters (b. 1964)

Can’t find any female classical composers born today, so why not feature this classic music video?

Crystal Waters 100% Pure Love from 1994

November 14, birthday of Rosalind Frances Ellicott (1857 – 1924)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Rosalind Frances Ellicott (November 14, 1857 – April 5, 1924) was an English composer, considered one of the leading female composers of her generation. And yet this is the only piece of hers I can find on Youtube.

Seven Sisters

November 12, birthday of Patty Stair (1869-1926)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Patty Stair (November 12, 1869 – April 26, 1926) was an American organist and composer from Cleveland.

Minuet

So Sweet She Is

November 10, birthday of Idabelle Smith Firestone (1874 – 1954)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

Idabelle Smith Firestone was born to a father who held a patent to a flour mill, and then married Harvey Firestone, who founded the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. Wikipedia says little more than that except that she wrote a few songs, one of which became the theme to “Voice of Firestone,” radio program.

If I Could Tell You
In My Garden (excerpt) sung by Jussi Björling

In My Garden Sung in 1950 by Thomas L. Thomas

November 8, birthday of Judith Lang Zaimont (b. 1945)

Since July, I have been concentrating solely on female composers.  You can read about that in my post from July 19.  If I can’t find one born on the calendar day, I won’t post.  On with today’s composer.

I’m very delighted to have come across the music of composer Judith Lang Zaimont. She and her sister, Doris, were schooled by their mother, an accomplished pianist and singer. Wikipedia tells us that Zaimont entered Julliard at the age of 12, the same age when she composed a work that won first prize in a competition. She and her sister performed piano duos together and, in the 1950 and 60s, appeared on the Lawrence Welk and Sing Along with Mitch Mitchell’s television shows (one of my family’s favorite programs when I was growing up). Her influences include some of my favorite composers–ChopinScriabinProkofievDebussyRavelStravinsky, and Copland. You can hear their influences on her work as well as Gershwin and Jazz.  Really delightful.  I want to get this posted before the day’s end.  Read more about Judith at her website here., and listen to works as well on this link.

Serenade

CHROMA – Northern Lights

%d bloggers like this: