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Women Composers
The Lost Tradition Found

Six American Composers, page 4 of 4

Ruth Schonthal (1924-2006), composer and pianist, was born in Hamburg, Germany of Viennese parents. She was accepted as the youngest pupil ever at the Stern Conservatory in Berlin at age five. When she was 13, she entered the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, and after moving to Mexico City, studied composition with Manuel Ponce. In 1946, her talents came to the attention of Paul Hindemith, who invited her to study composition as a scholarship student at Yale University. Schonthal's works have been performed by the Orchestra Nacional de la Universidad de Mexico, the Israel Philharmonic, New Orchestra of Westchester, Baltimore Women's Symphony, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony, and many other groups. A biography with analysis of works has been prepared for publication in Berlin by musicologist Martina Helmig. Schonthal was on the faculty of New York University and the Westchester Conservatory of Music. Schonthal's compositions display a unique blend of her deeply rooted European tradition, depth of feeling, and mastery of contemporary techniques.

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.

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.

Barbara Kolb bio is forthcoming

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich (b.1939) (USA) is the first women to win the Pulitzer Prize in music. Bio is forthcoming.

Judith Lang Zaimont (b.1945) has been on the Composition faculty at the University of Minnesota since 1992. She has served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory and Queens College and was Chair of Music at Adelphi University prior to her move to Minnesota. Raised in a musical family, she began her professional career as a member of a touring duo-piano team which appeared frequently in concert and on television. Although she continued to use her formidable talents as a pianist, gradually she turned her energies toward music composition, and in a few years, her accomplishments as a composer superseded her reputation as a performer. Zaimont, who holds degrees from Queens College and Columbia University, is a recipient of Guggenheim and Woodrow Wilson fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Maryland State Arts Council, Presser Foundation, and Alliance Française. She was the First Prize winner in the international McCollin Competition, which resulted in performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Zaimont is editor-in-chief of The Musical Woman book series, for which she received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Recent commissions include works for the Connecticut Opera, Greenville (S.C.) Symphony, (Johns) Hopkins Symphony, and Baltimore Dance Theatre. Zaimont's music uses a chromatic, fully-evolved tonality, and is characterized by its lyricism, expressive strength, and rhythmic vitality.




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

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