January 6, Birthday of Evelyn La Rue Pittman (1910-1992)

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.

Eveyln La Rue Pittman was born in Oklahoma and went to Langston University where she studied violin, trombone, and harmony. In Oklahoma City, she founded a professional choir and had her own radio show. She obtained certificates to teach in any Oklahoma school and then went to New York where she studied composition at Julliard. Her professor there recommended her to Nadia Boulanger, with whom she studied in Paris. She is most known for her arrangement of African American spirituals, but she also wrote three operas, the last, in 1970, called Freedom Child which celebrated the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alas, I can find recordings of only one of her works, a spiritual entitled “Anyhow.”

Anyhow
Another Version of Anyhow

December 27, Birthday of Hope Temple

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.

There is a very short entry for Hope Temple, nee Alice Davis, in Wikipedia.  She studied piano in London starting at age 13, but then due to a riding accident that injured her hand, she turned to composing.  I can only find one piece by her on Youtube.  It’s an Irish song called “My Lady’s Bower,” which was sung by Molly Bloom in James Joyce’s Ulysses.  The other is an excerpt, not very well performed, from her husband’s (Andre Messager), opera Mirette, which she cowrote with him.  She wrote two operettas, which I cannot find.

From Wikipedia:  Hope Temple, born as Alice Maude (called “Dotie”) Davis (27 December 1859 – 10 May 1938) was an Irish songwriter and composer. She was also known as “Mrs. André Messager“.

My Lady’s Bower
For the Wind of Night Comes Wandering

December 25, Birthday of Annie Lennox (b. 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.

Annie Lennox may not be listed as a composer in Wikipedia, but she studied flute, piano and harpsichord at the London Royal Conservatory of Music. Her work as an Eurythmic still leaves me a bit speechless, as does her solo album Medusa (of covers, I know).

Love Song for a Vampire
Julia

Would I Lie to You

Conditioned Soul

December 24, Birthday of Libby Larsen (b. 1950)

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.

 

Love Song for A Vampire
Holy Roller for Saxophone and Piano

Like Blind Men Tapping in the Dark

Song Concerto

December 19, birthday of Aziza Mustafa Zadeh (b. 1969)

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.

Aziza Mustafa Zadeh is an Azerbaijani musician being a singer, composer, and improviser. She fuses a traditional Azerbaijani improvisational singing form, mugham, with classical, jazz and avant-garde styles as well. Click here for a brief UNESCO description of Mugham. Both her parents were musicians, and her dad Vagif is noted as the first person to realize the similarity of Mugham and jazz quality. So he was kind of the Chick Corea of Azerbaijan. He died in 1979 and Aziza’s mother gave up her own career in order to foster her daughter’s.

 

Mozarts Jazz Ballade

Holiday Blessings

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