Composers You Should Know: Ethel Smyth

Smyth-Ethel-03[1929]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 was the first opera by a women to be heard on the Met stage – with the second one schedule for the 2016-2017 season.

To celebrate her birthday, have a listen to her Serenade in D:


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