Additional Resources for Flute Music by Women Composers
Virtuosa Flute Solos is great for finding flute solos by historical women composers, but what if you’re looking for chamber music or something more modern?? While those were outside the scope of my research for this particular project, there are many other educators and organizations with a variety of awesome resources.
Check out the list below to explore some of my favorite online resources for information on women composers, contemporary flute repertoire, chamber music featuring the flute, and playlists of flute music by women composers!
PS – none of the links below are from affiliates or sponsors – just content from other educators & organizations that I’ve enjoyed and found helpful 🙂
If you found a piece in Virtuosa Flute Solos that sounds cool and want to learn more about the composer, check out Donne: The Big List for an encyclopedic reference of biographies that’s accessible online. Donne, Women in Music also publishes annual reports on current statistics for representation of programming by women composers in orchestras around the world.
Collections (Solos from Various Eras)
Can’t decide where to start, or having trouble picking just one piece? Here are a few collections of flute music by women composers that provide a sampling of music from across the eras or a compilation of several pieces from an individual sub-genre.
Flötenmusik von Komponistinnen – 13 selections that give a good snapshot of flute music from the Baroque era through the 21st century. Composers include Anna Amalia von Preußen, Cécile Chaminade, Mel Bonis, Germaine Tailleferre, and Caroline Ansink. This collection was compiled and edited by Elisabeth Weinzierl-Wächter and Barbara Heller and is available as a print book or PDF download (individual pieces from this collection can also be purchased separately).
Mel Bonis: Selected Pieces – This collection includes 4 of Mel’s piano pieces arranged for flute with piano accompaniment. These character pieces can be performed as standalone solos or combined as movements of a larger work. This collection was arranged by Robert Rainford and includes Près du ruisseau, Pensées d’automne, Meditation, and Viennoise.
Lili Boulanger: Complete Flute Works – Four short pieces for flute and piano edited by Elisabeth Weinzierl and Edmund Wächter, based on the first editions of these works. As with the collection for Mel Bonis, they can be performed alone or combined into a 2, 3, or 4 movement work. This collection includes D’un matin de printemps, Nocturne, Cortège, and Pièce.
Seven Muses – A Contemporary Anthology – I personally prefer collections that give the whole piece (two pieces are single-movement works, the others are single movements taken from larger works), but this resource can be useful if you’re putting together excerpts for auditions or are looking for standalone movements that can still serve as recital pieces. These solos are all for flute + piano accompaniment; composers include Katherine Hoover, Chen Yi, Germaine Tailleferre, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich.
Although learning an alternate perspective on music history is the first step towards envisioning a more diverse future for classical music, it’s also important to engage with music from our own times. An exhaustive resource on modern music was outside the scope of my research for Virtuosa Flute Solos, but Katrin Szamatulski has compiled an awesome database on Women* Composers in Western Classical Music that’s accessible via her website. Her repertoire list includes over 2,000 entries of contemporary music from women composers around the world for solo flute, chamber ensembles, and flute choir!
Historical Chamber Music
I haven’t gotten around to researching this much, nor found a database with a lot of historical chamber music by women composers featuring the flute. However, despite being harder to find, these compositions do exist.
For Baroque duets and trios, check out the repertoire guide on my blog. And if you’re looking for Romantic or early 20th century chamber music, the pieces below are a great place to start.
The Boulanger Initiative and Corelia Project have sizable databases launched in March 2023 that include hundreds of chamber ensemble pieces featuring the flute. Both are fully searchable by publication year and instrumentation, and include additional sections of composer biographies within the database itself. While these resources list limited flute works composed before 1900, they’re great one-stop information centers for contemporary chamber music.
Technical Studies & Etudes
Of all the databases I’ve come across, the National Flute Association’s Selected Flute Repertoire & Studies is the only resource I’ve found that lists methods books and technical studies in addition to repertoire. Equal representation in programming is about more than just the music you play in your recitals, and normalizing lesson and practice materials written by women is just as important in promoting the contributions of women composers.
Lastly, if you want to play flute music by women composers but don’t have an accompanist (or are social distancing at home), check out Gonzalo Oritz Delgado’s YouTube playlist of flute accompaniment tracks, Composer Women. Composers featured include Anna Amalia von Preußen, Anna Bon di Venezia, Cécile Chaminade, Mel Bonis, and Louise Farrenc. These videos also include views of the sheet music onscreen.