There are many undeservedly neglected female composers. This small selection represents the few in which Trübcher Publishing has taken a particular interest.
(1812 - 1883)
Emilie Mayer enjoyed considerable success as a composer so that her contemporaries nick-named her the ‘female Beethoven’. Despite this, early editions of Groves Music & Musicians fail to mention her at all - not an uncommon fate for female composers! Her mother died when Emilie was very young so she had to help look after her father and siblings. This probably accounts for why she never married but her spinster status did have the benefit of leaving free to work as a musician (and also as a sculptress). For her early composition lessons she studied in Stettin with Carl Loewe but at the age of 35, after her father's death, she went to Berlin where her symphonies and other works proved very popular.
They were also performed in Vienna and elsewhere in Europe and Emilie worked hard to get them published. However, after her death they were never performed again until quite recently when a few have been played and recorded.
Most recently, the Berliner Capella included her Faust overture in a concert. It demonstrates well how women were expected to 'conform' to compositional standards if they were to have their works performed - it's good music but it seems rather old-fashioned in style when compared with works by male contemporaries like Wagner and Brahms
Concerts were held in Neubrandenburg, Germany in 2012 to celebrate Mayer's bi-centenary, including a performance of the Symphony in E major published by Trübcher.
(1857 - 1924)
She began composing and harmonising tunes at the age of six. At the age of seventeen, she went to the Royal Academy of Music, London, to study piano. Her teacher, Mr. William Shakespeare, heard a piano quartet that she had written and advised her to develop her talent for composition, so she placed herself under the tuition of Thomas Wingham, with whom she studied composition and orchestration for around seven years. Her father was bishop of Gloucester & Bristol and from 1886 Rosalind regularly produced works, especially writing works to be performed at the Gloucester Festival including:
1886 - Dramatic Overture
1889 - Cantata Elysium
1892 - Cantata The Birth of Song
1895 - Fantasia for piano & orchestra
1890 - Part song Bring the Bright Garlands for the Bristol Madrigal Society ( which lead to her being elected a member of the ISM)
1894 - choral ballad Henry of Navarre for the annual concert of Queen's College, Oxford
It was reported that she had a remarkable musical memory and could carry a whole movement in her head before writing it out.
Mary Ann Virginia Gabriel (Mrs. March)
Her style is firmly rooted in the English Romantic tradition, but Gabriel demonstrates a clear ability to write successfully for voices and an inventiveness which takes the music beyond the cloying sweetness that pervades so many other works from this period.
She wrote several cantatas and operettas. Widows Bewitched was particularly successful and enjoyed a long run in 1867 when it was performed by the Thomas German Reed company. Evangeline (words by Longfellow) was considered her principal work In 1874, a few months before her 50th birthday, she married Mr. George E March. Sadly, she was killed three years later in a carriage accident. Her obituary in the Evening Post described her as being ‘much liked in Society’ and as possessing ‘...a kindness of heart’.