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Orchestral works by American women

Nancy Van de Vate (b.1930) studied at the Eastman School of Music, Wellesley College, and Florida State University, where she earned a doctorate in composition. Her works are widely acclaimed, and have been performed in major cities throughout the world. Van de Vate is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Composer's Fellowship and is a first prize-winner of the Los Alamos Chamber Music Competition. She has been a resident fellow at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and Ossabaw Island, and an instructor at several American colleges and universities. Her articles on composers and composing have been published in Music America, Symphony News, The International Musician, Music Educators Journal, and The Instrumentalist. Van de Vate was one of the founders of the International League of Women Composers in 1975, which she chaired until moving to Indonesia in 1982. She now resides in Vienna, Austria.

Kay Gardner (1941-2002), a self-taught composer, was at the forefront of composers creating lyrical, improvisational, and experimental music designed for meditation, relaxation, and healing. A pioneer in the current movement to revive the ancient art of healing through music, color, sound and light, Gardner toured internationally presenting solo concerts and intensive workshops on music and healing. From 1975 through 1987 (this CD's release date), five albums of her works were released on several independent, women-owned labels. Selections from these recordings have been broadcast internationally and have been included in films and videos produced in England, Australia, New Zealand, and in the United States for WGBH television's nationally televised NOVA series. Gardner received awards from ASCAP, the Astrea Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Money for Women Fund, Meet the Composer, and the Maine Composers Festival.

Libby Larsen (b.1950) earned her doctorate in Composition from the University of Minnesota where she studied with Dominick Argento, Paul Fetler, and Eric Stokes. She has received commissions from many prestigious organizations for orchestral works; operas; musical theater works for children's chorus, Orff ensemble and symphony; and many other genres. Her music has been performed by most of the leading orchestras in the USA. Her song cycles, published by Oxford, have already become staples of both student and professional vocal recitals. A co-founder and active board member of the Minnesota Composers Forum, Larsen has also served on the National Endowment for the Arts Music Panel, Meet the Composer National Advisory Committee, American Music Center Board of Directors, and the ASCAP Board of Review. She was Composer-in-Residence with the Minnesota Orchestra from 1983-1987.

Marga Richter (b.1926) was born in Reedsburg, Wisconsin and received her early musical training in Minneapolis. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at the Juilliard School, studying composition with William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti and piano with Rosalyn Tureck. Among the sources of her many grants, commissions and awards are the National Endowment for the Arts, Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund, Harkness Foundation, Meet the Composer, National Federation of Music Clubs and ASCAP. Richter's works, noted for their expressiveness and economy of means, have been performed by 50 orchestras, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, London Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Milwaukee, Atlanta, Oakland, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Maracaibo Symphonies.

Ursula Mamlok (b.1928) was born in Berlin, Germany and began composing as a child. She came to the United States in 1941 and continued her studies at the Mannes College of Music, where she earned a bachelor's degree in composition, and at the Manhattan School of Music, where she obtained her master's degree. Mamlok's honors include two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a grant from the City University of New York Faculty Research Foundation, and awards from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, National Federation of Music Clubs, and the National Orchestra Association. Her works are performed frequently at major festivals such as Tanglewood and by prominent ensembles such as the Group for Contemporary Music, ISCM, Music in Our Time, the Da Capo Chamber Players, New Music Consort and Parnassus. Mamlok has taught composition at New York University and the City University of New York, and is a member of the composition faculty at the Manhattan School of Music.

Katherine Hoover (b.1937) lives in New York. She was born in West Virginia and grew up in a Philadelphia suburb. Hoover has received commissions and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, American Academy of Arts & Letters, Ditson Fund of Columbia University, ASCAP, Meet the Composer, and many other organizations. Her works have been presented throughout the United States and abroad by such soloists and groups as John Cheek; Eddie Daniels; the Harrisburg and Santa Fe Symphonies; Women's Philharmonic; the Dorian, Sylvan, Hudson Valley and Richards Wind Quintets; Atlanta Chamber Players; New Jersey Chamber Music Society; Alard Quartet; and the Huntingdon and Verdehr Trios. As a flutist, Hoover has given concerto performances at Lincoln Center, performed in all of New York's major halls, and made numerous recordings. She holds degrees from the Eastman and Manhattan Schools of Music and has taught at Juilliard; the Manhattan School of Music; and Teachers College, Columbia University.

Jane Brockman's (b.1949) music is informed by her extensive work in film, television, and dance, as well as the formal structure of academia. She was the first woman to earn a doctorate in Composition in the 150-year history of the University of Michigan. She has been awarded fellowships to study in Paris and Vienna (Fulbright/Alliance Française and Rackham Prize), as well as grants and honors from the MacDowell Colony, the State of Connecticut, Meet the Composer, and the Composers Conference. Her first orchestra piece won the Sigvald Thompson Prize, and mentors include Ross Lee Finney, Leslie Bassett, George Balch Wilson, Eugene Kurtz and Wallace Berry. She has taught at the University of Connecticut, the Hartt School of Music, the University of Rhode Island and the University of Michigan. After being awarded a Composers' fellowship from Robert Redford's Sundance Institute, she was inspired to leave her tenured professorship to score films in Los Angeles. Today, in Santa Monica, her focus is entirely on concert music. Her music, which is performed all over the world, is widely recorded, and published by Diaphanous Music (distributed by Theodore Front Musical Literature Inc.) and Arsis Press.




Links to alphabetical list of composers
Bios and links to their recordings at this site

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