HOSTS- Jeremy Burns, Matthew Scott Phillips


TYPE- History




BUMPER MUSIC- "Know Respect"  (Area 47 Music)

ANNOUNCER- Mike Cunliffe


It's time to further our discussion of women composers! Continuing where we left of on episode 81, we will now cover several influential female composers from the Baroque and Classical periods.


-Born on September 18, 1587, in Florence, Italy, to Giulio Caccini and Lucia Gagnolanti.


-Her father, Giulio, worked as a composer, musician and educator for the Medici family. This one of Europe's most influential and wealthy families at the time.


-In 1600, Francesca, her step mother (Margherita), and her little sister (Settimia) performed in a vocal ensemble. Aside from voice, she was also trained in guitar, lute, keyboard, harp and composition.


-By 1614, she was the highest paid musician in the Medici court.


-In 1618, she published Il Primo Libro Delle Musiche, a book of madrigals.


-In 1624, she wrote La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina. This was the first known opera written by a female composer.


-By 1626, she was the most prominent female composer in all of Europe.


-She died in August of 1646 in Norther Italy.


To hear a modern day recording of "La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina", (by Opera McGill) on the YouTube page, Schulich School of Music, click HERE


Barbara Strozzi

-Born in Venice, Italy, on Aug. 6, 1619.


-She was the adopted child of the poet Giulio Strozzi. Her biological mother was Isabella Garzoni, a servant of his household.


-At 12, she began to her studies on voice and lute. Shortly after, her father brought her to composer, Francesco Cavalli, for further instruction.


-At 16, in 1635, she began to perform at her fathers social events.


-In 1644, at 25, she published "Il Primo Libro de' Madrigali". This was her first book of madrigals.


-In her lifetime, she composed over 100 pieces, many of which were secular. Although 1 out of her 8 volumes did contain sacred verse. Though she never wrote any operas, vocals were the focal point of her compositions.


-In 1667, she died in Northern Italy at age 58.


To hear a modern day recording of Barbara Strozzi's "Lagrime Mie" on YouTube (courtesy of Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment), click HERE


-Anna Amalia was born (to Sophia Dorothea of Hanover and King Frederick William I of Prussia) in Berlin, Germany, on November 9, 1723.


-Her father was physically abusive and didn't like music. Though she had some music lessons, early in life, she didn't begin her more formal music lessons until  he passed away in 1740.


-Her main focus was on the harpsichord, flute and violin.


-In 1755, she became the Abbess of Quendlinburg. This gave her greater financial independence and the ability to continue her music studies.


-By 35, in 1758, she began taking composition lessons from Johann Phillip Kirnberger (a student of Johann Sebastian Bach).


-Many of her compositions were for military band, which was uncommon for an already uncommon female composer. She also composed many chamber works, such as trios, marches, cantatas, sonatas, songs and fugues.


-Amalia was also an archivist. Her collection, the Amalian Bibliothek, consisted of over 600 volumes of music by many world-famous composers of that time.


-Amalia died on March 30, 1787, at age 63.



To hear a modern day recording of Anna's "Flute Sonata in F Major" on YouTube (courtesy of

Infusion Baroque), click HERE




-Anna Katharina Martinez was born in Vienna in 1744. Her mother (Maria Theresia) was Austrian. Her father, Nicco Martinez, served as a Neapolitan military officer. In the 1720’s he moved Vienna to work for the papal ambassadors office.


-She changed her name from Katharina to Marianna. Sometimes she would use the form "Marianne" and the spelling "Martines" to accommodate the German pronunciation.


-The composer Antonio Trapassi (a.k.a. Metasasio) was a friend of her fathers who lived with the family. When Marianne was 10, Trapassi recommended her to Nicola Porpora for formal vocal and composition instruction. She was also brought to Guiseppe Bonno (Italian composer) and Johann Adolf Hasse (German composer) for a broader influence.


-Her earliest known compositions dated back to 1760 when she was 16. These were two Catholic masses and a motet (also sacred music).


-As her composition and keyboard skills continued to flourish, Trapassi (a.k.a. Metastasio) introduced her music to Giovanni Battista (Mozart's teacher). He gave her 3rd mass high praises and this boosted her presence among the music community.


-Unconnected and uncommitted to any formal employment, she enjoyed great success as an independent composer and held many social events revolving around music and the arts.


-Marianne Martinez died of tuberculosis in December of 1812. Of her 150 reported compositions, 65 have survived. Her final surviving composition was a chamber cantata for solo voice in 1786.


To hear a modern day recording of "Piano Concerto in A major" on YouTube (courtesy of

Judith Valerie Engel), click HERE



-Maria Anna Mozart was born in Salzburg, Germany in 1751.


-Anna (nicknamed “Nannerl”) was 5 years Wolfgang’s senior, thus one of his early role models.


-Leopold, her father, began teaching her music at 8. He was so impressed by her, he began to teach Wolfgang around the same time. He was only 3.


-In 1762, as a part of a 3 year tour, Maria and Wolfgang played for Maximilian III in Munich. She was 11. He was 6. The tour covered 88 cities.


-In 1769, at age 18, Leo took her out of the performance circuit because she was eligible for marriage. It wasn’t till 15 years later (at 33yrs) that she married. She gave birth to 3 children and ultimately settled in Salzburg taking up work as a music teacher.


-Maria died at 78, in 1829. Though her compositions have not been recorded or preserved, Wolfgang was highly inspired by her music.



-Jane Mary Guest (a.k.a. Jenny Guest, Jane Mary Miles) was born in Bath, Somerset England.


-Her father, Thomas Guest, was a tailor who sought out the music instruction of Thomas Orpin and Thomas Linley for her. By the age of 6, she was giving piano performances in around Bath.


-At 14, she became the pupil of Johann Christian Bach(son of J.S. Bach) and Antonio Sacchini (Italian opera composer), in London.


-By 1779, at 17, she was performing in London and was and putting on subscription concerts in the early 1780’s. Her first published work was 6 piano sonatas with violin or flute. By 1785, these were being published in France and Germany.


-In 1789 she married accountant Abram Allen Miles at 45 and took his last name. 15 years later, while still composing, she would go on to teaching Princess Amalia (daughter of George III) and princess Charlotte of Wales.


-In 1846, she died in Blackheath, London. Her most remembered works were the 6 Sonatas of her first opus, her Sonata in 1807 and a number of vocal pieces with keyboard accompaniment such as: “Fairies Dance”, “Will Ye Gang To the Burnside” and “Fair One, Take This Rose” She also used text from other writers, mainly Robert Burns, and set them to music such as “The Bonnie Wee Wife” and “The Bonnie Lassie”.


To hear a modern day recording of "Sonata No.2 for Harpsichord" on YouTube (courtesy of

Adele Dusenbury), click HERE