A Helpful List

A Helpful List

The need for greater programming of women composers is, of course, strong and obvious enough that nothing I could say could add to the argument. What little I can do to help the issue along I have done in the hopes that with information comes progress.

Written By

Rob Deemer

I intended to write a response to Alex Gardner’s column celebrating International Women’s Day last week, but my poetic muse got the better of me. The state of women composers in our community today is indeed an important one, as David Smooke’s column investigates, and it is a subject of which we need to be constantly reminded.

There have been several discussions and articles over the past few years that have touched upon this subject (examples here here, here, here, here, and here, and the various facets of the discussion are complicated and not entirely one-sided – the specter of choosing works for anything other than artistic merit is sure to start a fierce debate.

I, however, do not intend raise such specters with this column. The need for greater programming of women composers is, of course, strong and obvious enough that nothing I could say could add to the argument. What little I can do to help the issue along I have done in the hopes that with information comes progress. Having been the positions of programming works for ensembles as well as selecting guest composers for new music festivals, I understand that one of the challenges in ensuring a balanced program is finding the composers–the internet gives us so much information with so little filtering.

With this in mind, I have created a list of 202 women composers to help all those ensembles, soloists, pedagogues, and organizations that may want to increase their programming of women composers. I do not make this list with any intent of labeling any one composer as being better than another–it is simply a reference to assist those who are interested in learning who is out there. Hyperlinks have been included to allow for easy navigation to their websites. This list is just a start–I have collected names over the years and this is the fruit of that collection. I ask that if you know other names that should be added to this list, please add them in the comments section. I apologize ahead of time if I have left names off that are known to me–I’m quite sure there’s a least a few names that I neglected that will induce a facepalm.

In the future, I hope that this discussion fades into the realm of the unnecessary–until then, use this list with the best of intentions and I look forward to being informed of others who are not listed.

Eliane Aberdam

Julia Adolphe

Kati Agocs

Adrienne Albert

Elizabeth Alexander

Kathryn Alexander

Beth Anderson-Harold

Laurie Anderson

Kerry Andrew

Clarice Assad

Lera Auerbach

Jennifer Barker

Carol Barnett

Sally Beamish

Eve Beglarian

Jennifer Bellor

Lauren Bernofsky

Abbie Betinis

Lisa Bielawa

Betsey Biggs

Carla Bley

Rose Bolton

Victoria Bond

Susan Botti

Jenni Brandon

Charlotte Bray

Carolyn Bremer

Kirsten Broberg

Margaret Brouwer

Courtney Brown

Eliza Brown

Shih-Hui Chen

Mary Ellen Childs

Unsuk Chin

Kyong Mee Choi

Andrea Clearfield

Anna Clyne

Gloria Coates

Lisa Coons

Renée T. Coulombe

Cindy Cox

Chaya Czernowin

Tina Davidson

Tansy Davies

Maria De Alvear

Emma Lou Diemer

Kui Dong

Emily Doolittle

Alexandra du Bois

Du Yun

Melissa Dunphy

Adrienne Elisha

Conni Ellisor

Marti Epstein

Nomi Epstein

Roshanne Etezady

Amanda Feery

Lesley Flanigan

Cheryl Frances-Hoad

Gabriela Lena Frank

Heather Frasch

Ruby Fulton

Nancy Galbraith

Alexandra Gardner

Stacy Garrop

Erin Gee

Mara Gibson

Suzanne Giraud

Janice Giteck

Annie Gosfield

Helen Grime

Sofia Gubaidulina

Anne Guzzo

Amanda Harberg

Linda Tutas Haugen

Mara Helmuth

Jennifer Higdon

Edie Hill

Dorothy Hindman

Sarah Horick

Emily Howard

Melissa Hui

Wang Jie

Marisol Jimenez

Lynn Job

Allison Johnson

Jenny Olivia Johnson

Jennifer Jolley

Zoe Keating

Elizabeth Kelly

Anne Kilstofte

Leanna Kirchoff

Amy Beth Kirsten

Barbara Kolb

Laura Kopelwitz

Kristin Kuster

Joan La Barbara

Andrea La Rose

Lori Laitman

Bun-Ching Lam

Sally Lamb McCune

Libby Larsen

Hannah Lash

Elodie Lauten

Mary Jane Leach

Anne LeBaron

Tania León

Elanie Lillios

Elizabeth Lin

Deborah Lurie

Gilda Lyons

Caroline Mallonee

Bunita Marcus

Paula Matthusen

Beth May

Missy Mazzoli

Frances McKay

Cindy McTee

Anna Meredith

Jenny Bernard Merkowitz

Helena Michelson

Anna Mikhailova

Diana Mino

Meredith Monk

Beata Moon

Zae Munn

Thea Musgrave

Tamar Muskal

Angelica Negron

Amy X Neuberg

Olga Neuwirth

Ketty Nez

Loretta Notareschi

Allison Ogden

Elizabeth Ogonek

Pauline Oliveros

Tawnie Olson

Roxanna Panufnik

Andreia Pinto-Correia

Paola Prestini

Leanna Primiani

Leah Sproul Pulatie

Shulamit Ran

Jody Redhage

Andrea Reinkemeyer

Belinda Reynolds

Sarah Ritch

Erin Rogers

Jessica Rudman

Elena Ruehr

Kaija Saariaho

Kate Salfelder

Jamie Leigh Sampson

Eleonor Sandresky

Laurie San Martin

Maria Schnieder

Laura Schwendinger

Debra Scroggins

Amy Scurria

Sophia Serghi

Judith Shatin

Marilyn Shrude

Arlene Sierra

Alex Shapiro

Sarah Kirkland Snider

Christine Southworth

Suzanne Sorkin

Bernadette Speach

Laurie Spiegel

Jane Stanley

Jennifer Stock

Hilary Tann

Augusta Read Thomas

Molly Thompson

Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Dale Trumbore

Joan Tower

Nancy Van de Vate

Adriana Verdie

Lois V Vierk

Kirsten Volness

Aleksandra Vrebalov

Melinda Wagner

Gwyneth Walker

Jennifer Walshe

Meira Warshauer

Dalit Warshaw

Orianna Webb

Frances White

Liza White

Amy Williams

Julia Wolfe

Rain Worthington

Luna Pearl Woolf

Xi Wang

Carolyn Yarnell

Chen Yi

Bora Yoon

Nina Young

Pamela Z

Judith Lang Zaimont

Ellen Taaffe Zwilich