WaPo’s Anne Midgette Proposes Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music

In response to NPR’s recent list of the 150 greatest albums made by women, Washington Post critic Anne Midgette proposes a thoughtful “Top 35” list encompassing a cross-section of female composers.

Since I was responding to a list of recordings, I confined myself to artists active in the recorded music era, the 20th and 21st centuries — leaving out Hildegard von Bingen, Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Wieck Schumann, Barbara Strozzi, Marianne Martinez, and many others. My selections are based on a combination of personal preference and some idea of what constitutes “importance,” and it was hard to winnow it down to only 35.

But she leaves the door open:

Who would you add to Midgette’s list in the 36-100 slots?

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5 thoughts on “WaPo’s Anne Midgette Proposes Top 35 Female Composers in Classical Music

  1. Gregory Hutter

    Is there any intrinsic meaning to these types of “lists” other than for the possible self-aggrandizement from those who are included? Okay, that was cynical–but a list from an anointed critic who decides who’s in and who’s out? While I admire many of these women–and I am friends with some–I already sensed an inevitability about whose names I would find before clicking the link, as many of these composers have been at it for decades. What this amounts to is a mini-dictionary, and not terribly interesting reading. Such is the banal terminus of modern music criticism.

    Gregory Hutter, Chicago

  2. Roy Kalish

    Ann Millikan is a super talented composer who has 3 very eclectic and superbly orchestrated cd’s,1 chamber and 2 orchestral on the Innova label.Anyone who loves contemporary American music should hear them.


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