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Women’s History Month in March saw three new composers added to our ongoing series of women composer features: the Uzbek-born Berlin-resident Aziza Sadikova, Maria Herz whose output was curtailed after her flight from Nazi Germany, and young British composer Grace-Evangeline Mason with her ethereally painted landscapes.

Revealing the rich heritage of music by women composers continues with our series of Life and Music features exploring major figures published by Boosey & Hawkes and Sikorski. Three new additions span a century of creativity, with Aziza Sadikova, Maria Herz and Grace-Evangeline Mason all enjoying increasingly wide performances internationally.

Aziza Sadikova (b.1978)
In recent years Aziza Sadikova has established herself as a prominent composer, with an output spanning chamber operas, symphonic scores and intimate chamber pieces. Born in 1978 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Sadikova began taking piano and composition lessons at the age of five. She later studied organ and composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and completed her studies at the Trinity College of Music, London. Today, Sadikova lives in Germany in the inspiring cultural scene of its capital Berlin. Her music is championed by conductors including Kent Nagano, Omer Meir Wellber and Jonathan Stockhammer and has been performed by orchestras including the Gewandhaus Leipzig, Swedish Radio Symphony, BBC Philharmonic and Filarmonica Arturo Toscanini in Parma. She has been featured at international festivals including the BBC Proms, Aspekte Salzburg and Wien Modern.

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Maria Herz (1878-1950)
Maria Herz gained popularity as a composer in the early 20th century, before fading into obscurity in the following decades. Born into a Jewish textile dynasty and growing up in Cologne, she initially composed in a Romantic style, turning to a more modern idiom in the 1920s. She adopted the pseudonym Albert Maria Herz, incorporating the name of her late husband, and her interwar career peaked with the premiere of her Four Short Orchestral Pieces in Cologne in 1929 conducted by Hermann Abendroth. She fled Nazi Germany in 1935, settling first in Birmingham, then in New York. Her final work was a baroque-inspired concerto for harpsichord (or piano), flute and strings, rediscovered and premiered in Zurich in 2020, 85 years after its composition.

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Grace-Evangeline Mason (b.1994)
The output of young British composer Grace-Evangeline Mason embraces operatic, orchestral, chamber, choral and electronic works. The composer creates ethereal sonic landscapes often inspired by art, poetry and literature to take a listener on a narrative journey. Mason describes how “I always feel I’m chasing an elusive soundworld, and with each piece I’m getting a bit closer to capturing it”. Works to date include two orchestral scores The Imagined Forest and ABLAZE THE MOON, both premiered at the BBC Proms in London, and the powerful chamber opera The Yellow Wallpaper which explores themes of mental health. Champions include conductors Mark Wigglesworth and Domingo Hindoyan and major performances of her music have been heard overseas in Oslo, Milan, Utrecht, Baltimore, Montreal and Adelaide.

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Other women composers featured in our Life and Music series, including Lera Auerbach, Unsuk Chin, Anna Clyne, Sofia Gubaidulina, Meredith Monk and Olga Neuwirth, can be explored here.

For a full list of leading women composers published by Boosey & Hawkes and Sikorski please visit www.boosey.com/womencomposers

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