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Women Composers Compilation

Michael Berkeley presents a special programme as part of Radio 3’s celebration of women composers. With, among others, Hildegard of Bingen, Barbara Strozzi and Clara Schumann.

As part of Radio 3’s celebration of female composers, Michael Berkeley draws together some of his guests who have championed works by women.

Turner Prize-winner Helen Cammock introduces the 17th-century Venetian composer Barbara Strozzi, and actor Greta Scacchi tells the story of her discovery of the 18th-century musician and composer Maria Cosway. There is music too by Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th-century writer, abbess and mystic, who is a role model for scientist Uta Frith; and a discussion of Clara Schumann and her complex relationship with husband Robert from biographer Lucasta Miller.

Architect Daniel Libeskind champions the work of the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho, whose work for him conjures up the glittering beauty of modern glass buildings. And Michael Berkeley reveals the answer to the question he’s frequently asked about this programme: which composer gets chosen most often? And the answer is that, apart from Bach, probably the most popular choice of all at the moment – from men, women, young, old, artists, scientists, writers – is Nina Simone.

A Loftus production for BBC Radio 3
Produced by Elizabeth Burke

Available now

34 minutes

Last on

Sun 8 Mar 2020 12:00

Music Played

  • Barbara Strozzi

    Che si puo fare

    Performer: Leonardo García Alarcón. Performer: Mariana Flores. Ensemble: Cappella Mediterranea.
  • Maria Cosway


    Performer: Jan Walters. Singer: Mary Nichols.
  • Leonora Duarte

    Sinfonia de decimi toni

    Ensemble: Transports Publics. Conductor: Thomas Baeté.
  • Hildegard von Bingen

    O Jerusalem

    Ensemble: Gothic Voices. Conductor: Christopher Page. Singer: Emma Kirkby.
  • Clara Schumann

    Piano Trio in G minor, Op.17 (1st mvt: Andante)

    Performer: Antje Weithaas. Performer: Tanja Tetzlaff. Performer: Gunilla Süssmann.
  • Clara Schumann

    Liebst du um Schonheit, Op.12 no.2

    Performer: Vladimir Ashkenazy. Singer: Barbara Bonney.
  • Germaine Tillon

    Der Verfugbar aux Enfers (excerpt)

    Ensemble: Ensemble. Director: Stephane Petitjean.
  • Kaija Saariaho

    ... a la fumee

    Performer: Petri Alanko. Performer: Anssi Karttunen. Orchestra: Los Angeles Philharmonic. Conductor: Esa‐Pekka Salonen.
  • Caroline Shaw

    Partita (Allemande)

    Ensemble: Roomful of Teeth.
  • Pauline Oliveros


    Performer: Pauline Oliveros. Performer: Stuart Dempster. Performer: Panaiotis.
  • Nina Simone

    Mississippi Goddam

    Performer: Nina Simone.


  • Sun 8 Mar 2020 12:00

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