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Leah Broad - Quartet – How Four Women Challenged the Musical World

Highlights the lives, loves, and musical careers of four extraordinary women:
Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell and Doreen Carwithen.
In their time, these women were celebrities. They composed some of the century’s most popular music and pioneered creative careers; but they became ghostly presences until Leah Broad, via a group biography, resurrected these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, and celebrating their musical masterpieces.

Their names

Their names survived only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten. But now here they are:

Ethyl Smyth (b.1858): Famed for her operas, this trailblazing queer Victorian composer was a larger-than-life socialite, intrepid traveller and committed Suffragette.

Rebecca Clarke (b.1886): This talented violist and Pre-Raphaelite beauty was one of the first women ever hired by a professional orchestra, later celebrated for her modernist experimentation.

Dorothy Howell (b.1898): A prodigy who shot to fame at the 1919 Proms, her reputation as the ‘English Strauss’ never dented her modesty; on retirement, she tended Elgar’s grave alone.

Doreen Carwithen (b.1922): One of Britain’s first woman film composers who scored Elizabeth II’s coronation film, her success hid a 20-year affair with her married composition tutor.

Paperback, published in 203, 472 pages.

Publisher: Faber / ISBN: 9780571366118
Author: Leah Broad
Medium: Book


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