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Classical Music

Classical 91.7 Recognizes International Women’s Day

Join Suzanne Bona this Sunday for a program highlighting lesser-known female composers.

Isabella Leonarda
Isabella Leonarda. Public domain.

International Women’s Day is this Sunday, March 8th, celebrating the simple fact that women are pretty awesome.

More formally put, the day was established in 1909 to recognize and honor the achievements of women across all fields.

In this week’s Sunday Baroque, Suzanna Bona will feature works by outstanding female composers and musicians – and not the names with which you may be most familiar. Included in the program will be works by:

Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre, 1665-1729: A Parisian child prodigy whose career as a soloist began at the ripe young age of five, when she played for King Louis XIV.

Isabella Leonarda, 1620-1704: She entered the convent at the age of 16 and wrote every type of sacred music imaginable: Motets, masses, Magnificats, and more. In fact, she’s regarded as one of the most prolific convent composers of the baroque era.

Anna Bon, ca. 1739-?: She was Italian, born in Russia, and married in what is now southwest Germany. Born to artistic parents who led an active life of traveling internationally, she ended up in Bayreuth playing in the court of Margrave Friedrich of Brandenburg Kulmbach.

Princess Anna Amalia of Prussia, 1723-1787: As they say, “Well-behaved women rarely make history.” Despite the fact that her father, King Frederick William I of Prussia, sternly disapproved of her pursuing music, she secretly rebelled and took lessons in harpsichord, flute, and violin. Later in life, after eloping with a baron, having a child, and then being forced by her brother to have the marriage annulled, she began serious study of music theory and composition, writing a number of chamber works and religious music.

Sunday Baroque airs every Sunday morning from 8-10AM on Classical 91.7.