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

November 4, birthday of Gena Branscombe

Gena Branscombe (4 November 1881 – 26 July 1977) was a Canadian pianist, composer, music educator and choir conductor who lived and worked in the United States.

Love in a Life: I thought once how Theocritus
Ah! Love, I Shall Find Thee

October 28, birthday of Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel (b. 1980)

Agnes Caroline Thaarup Obel is a Berlin-based Danish singer/songwriter. Since Wikipedia doesn’t list many women composers, I also search it for singer-songwriters on any given day. Agnes grew up in a musical household. Her mother played Bartok and Chopin and she learned to play piano at a very early age. Her piano teacher told her to only play things she liked, which is probably why she stayed with it. This piece is nice and atmospheric, which is usually what I listen for first in any new piece of music. I found two versions of it on Youtube, one really trippy and the other a bit more poppy. I like them both. How about you?

Fuel to Fire

Fuel to Fire (Official Video)

October 20, birthday of Sandra Dickinson

Today’s composer should bring a few smiles to the faces of my British readers.  The composer Sandra Dickinson, a British-American actress, born in Washington, DC, grew up near here in Maryland, and moved to England where she has had an interesting career.  Fans of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” will recognize her as Trillian, the earth woman Zaphod Beeblebrox picks up on earth, stealing her away from Dent, Arthur Dent.

For her second marriage, she married the fifth Doctor Who, Peter Davidson.  After their divorce, she married Mark Osmond, another British singer/actor.

Before “Hitchhiker’s” she made her debut on British television in a commercial for Bird’s Eye Beefburgers, directed by Alan Parker (who later did Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.”)  In the 1980s, she and Davidson composed the theme to a children’s television show named “Button Moon.”

Birdseye Beef Burger: “Ganster 1970”

Theme from Button Moon

October 19, birthday of Yoko Shimomura

Today feature is Sinfonia Drammatica Yoko Shimomura, a Japanese composer, most noted for her compositions for videogames.  She has been described as “the most famous female video game music composer in the world,” and her works have been performed by symphony orchestras in Paris and Mexico City.

“Legend of Mana : Title Theme”

Dearly Beloved from Kingdom Hearts

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