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Live at Halls // Women Composers


For both Live at Halls and Live Composers, Sarah Freestone the muti-instrumentalist composer/ musical genius highlighted women in music she had used as inspiration for the projects. We took a deeper look into what these incredible women had achieved and wanted to share the knowledge!


First up we have Daphne Oram. She was known as the 'Godmother of Electronic Music'. She wrote music for film, tv radio and spent many years creating new electronic instruments. If you want to know more, her collection is held in the

archives at Goldsmiths so has a connection to Lewisham. AMAZING!


Daphne Oram

Another INCREDIBLE women composer who was of inspiration for Sarah Freestone was Laurie Anderson. Again, another pioneer of electronic music and a key figure in the avant-garde scene during the 1970's. Andersons work spans across pop music, performance art and film along-with the invention of new instruments. She was even NASA first ever artist in residency! She finally won a grammy this year - well deserved.


Laurie Anderson

Our next women composer is SUSAN SPAIN-DUNK. A violist, violinist, teacher, conductor and prize winning composer. Her music was performed at The Proms several times (some she conducted herself) What an inspiration for our young musicians out there! One of Susan Spain-Dunk's most popular chamber works is the Phantasy for String Quartet in G minor (1915).



Susan Spain-Dunk

Lili Boulanger was born into a very music family in Paris 1893. She studied singing, piano, violin, cello and harp. Boulanger suffered from a chronic illness, but it didn't stop her from being the first female winner of the prestigious Prix de Roma at the age of 19! In March 1939, Nadia Boulanger with the help of American friends created the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund. It has two objectives: to perpetuate Lili Boulanger's music and memory and financially support talented musicians.


Lili Boulanger

Next up we have Grazyna Bacewicz a Polish violinist, pianist, teacher and of course composer. She won a whole host of prizes and competitions for both her violin playing and also her composing. She went to study in Paris with the most influential of the 20th century (including Boulangers' young sister Nadia).


Grazyna Bacewicz

Finally, we have Margaret Hamilton, credited with the creation of the term 'software engineer' she was a pretty cool lady. She was a mathematician, computer scientist AND a systems engineer. In 2016 she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for leading and development of on-board flight software for NASA's Apollo moon mission.


Margaret Hamilton

There is so many incredible women musicians out there, and Venus Blazing has inspired us to search for even more....watch out for our next Women in Music blog post!!!

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This project is supported by the David Solomon Charitable Trust

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