Updated: May 4, 2021
As the month of March being “Women in History” month comes to a close, I’m reflecting on the research that has consumed me for these four weeks. After seeing Jenny Maclay’s posts “31 Clarinet Compositions by Female Composers” and “101 Clarinet Compositions Written by Women Composers,” I felt compelled to create a master list of solo and chamber music written for clarinet by women composers. Little did I know that it would take a month to compile this list of over 400 pieces! This rather daunting task has brought me new insight to the vast repertoire for our instrument. It didn’t take me long to realize that it is virtually impossible to compile a “master list” in it’s completed form since new composers constantly emerge and new works continue to be composed. As a result, this list is an ongoing list that will continue to have new additions, even as I write this blog. Thanks to Don Oehler whose list of Women Composers for The Clarinet Quintet also contributed to my list.
I have made several discoveries along this journey among the obvious of finding composers and pieces that were new to me. One discovery was exploring composers’ websites. Many composers have websites that are quite impressive and informative. The list that I compiled includes their websites and in the absence of a website, I have included the Wikipedia page or another link.
This list does not specify nationality, however, I did notice the amount of composers from different countries. A majority of composers are American and European, however, quite a few of them are from Australia. In the future, I might add a nationality column to this list.
My final observation is the time span of compositions written by women. The earliest piece included on this list was written by Camilla de Rossi (1670-1710) that includes two chalumeaus. I felt like it was significant and should be included. Women composers have written for clarinet over three centuries, and we are presently having more pieces emerge than ever before. It is thrilling to see how modern composers continue to push the boundaries of this genre that offer new challenges and options for clarinet performers.
I hope that you enjoy this list and explore these amazing women who are making history!
Click the link below to access the list: