Isabella Leonarda

Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) was born in Italy to a prominent family.  She entered a convent at the age of 16, which was common for upper-class daughters at the time, and gained local fame for her compositions.

She was a rather prolific composer, which is significant in that while her compositional output spans her lifetime, she didn’t begin composing steadily until she was fifty.  Her total oeuvre consists of around 200 works.  Isabella published her works during her lifetime, and consequently, many of her works are still available today.

Here is her Sonata duodecima for violin and continuo: