Women of Note

color photo of composer Caroline Shaw
Kait Moreno / carolineshaw.com

During Women’s History Month, I continue my conversation with one of today’s most acclaimed women composers, Pulitzer Prize-winner Caroline Shaw.

In part 2 of my October 2017 interview with Shaw, we talk about some of the most significant influences — musical and otherwise — on her music, the state of new music today, why music by women composers remains underrepresented on concert programs and how to begin changing that tradition.

color photo of composer Caroline Shaw
Kait Moreno / carolineshaw.com

As the saying goes, everything has a price. Had the entry fee for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize competition in music been more than $50, Caroline Shaw might not have become the youngest person ever to win that coveted award.

color photo of Maren Montalbano and Melissa Dunphy
melissadunphy.com

A young Norse woman dresses up as a man, sails to the distant island where her ancestors are buried and demands that her dead father hand over a powerful sword as her birthright.

No, it’s not a role-playing game. It’s Philadelphia-based composer Melissa Dunphy’s Hervararkviða​, or The Incantation of Hervor, a set of three songs for mezzo-soprano, violin and harp whose texts tell a story as unusual as the sound-world Dunphy’s score creates for it.

black-an-white formal photo of Harriet Neff Murphy
Ronald Murphy

A piece of music written more than 70 years ago by an Ohio composer but only recently brought to light will finally be heard this Saturday and Tuesday evenings on Classical 101, as part of  Women of NoteThe American Sound’s celebration of women composers during Women’s History Month.