Composers You Should Know: Ethel Smyth

Saturday, April 23 marks the 158th birthday of Dame Ethel Smyth. Known for going against norms (defying her father in receiving a music education, composed operas in Victorian England, fiercely advocated for women’s rights and women’s suffrage, and was not secretive about being a lesbian) her works have largely fallen into obscurity – though not entirely. Last summer Leon Botstein presented the first fully staged production of Smyth’s The Wreckers at Bard.  (We wrote about the premiere here – and were fortunate to have Amy Zigler write about her experience attending a performance. More recently, the New York Times reminded readers that Smyth’s Der Wald…