SOLO AND CHAMBER PIECES FOR VIOLA BY FEMALE COMPOSERS: LATE NINETEENTH TO TWENTY-FIRST CENTURIES
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My dissertation performance project explores the captivating world of solo and sonata compositions for viola by female composers of the late nineteenth to twenty-first centuries. Through an exploration of this repertoire, this project seeks to illuminate the unique relationship between the viola and female composers, highlighting the ways in which these women, and many others, have contributed to and enriched the world of classical music. The unique connection between the viola and female composers is only recently coming to light; despite historical challenges and biases, these women have created significant compositions for the viola, resulting in a compelling and inspiring collaboration that has yet to be fully appreciated. My goal is to highlight the positive impact of this connection and to help bring a wider awareness to the works of these women composers.The first recital is a showcase of female composers from the United States. This program features No. III and No. X from Lillian Fuchs' Fifteen Characteristic Studies; Margaret Brouwer's Two Pieces for Viola and Piano; Jennifer Higdon's Sonata for Viola and Piano; and Nokuthula Endo Ngwenyama's Sonoran Storm for Solo Viola. The second recital presents the works of female composers from England. The program includes Morpheus for Viola and Piano by Rebecca Clarke; the Sonata for Viola and Piano by Elizabeth Maconchy; and Pamela Harrison's Sonata for Viola and Piano. The third recital showcases masterpieces by female composers from Germany and France. The program presents Three Pieces for Viola and Piano by Germany's Luise Adolpha Le Beau; and two French compositions, the Sonata for Viola and Piano, Op. 25 by Marcelle Soulage, and Fernande Decruck's Sonata for Viola and Piano.