Women Composers


Some time ago, I found the picture above on the twitter account of the Hartford Women Composers Fest (Connecticut, USA) and it made me think, first, about still existing gender differences in the music world as well as in our society (a fact that I find unacceptable in current times) and that programming music by women composers be normal and not a fad.

Despite the fact that a past in which the role of women in music (especially in the field of composition) has been so marginal cannot be changed, we have the responsibility to eradicate any type of discrimination (including gender) and lay these foundations for new generations of artists.

Next, the fact that saxophone has an original repertoire not yet too old allows that works by composers as Paule Maurice, Jeanine Rueff, Ida Gotkovsky or Betsy Jolas, among much others, could be performed often. Furthermore, you will find a copious amount of works for baritone saxophone composed by women in the General Repertoire from the blog of my website.

To finish, have a look at (and listen to some of) the works by women composers I have played once at least and recorded throughout my career. There are not many pieces (the works I have only studied are not included), but I am glad to expand this list little by little:

BENITO, Isabel.

  1. Quasi uno Specchio, for baritone saxophone solo (2020)


  1. A Chillida, for baritone saxophone modulated live and tape (1997)

CLAUSSEN, Martina.

  1. Trigger II_b, for baritone saxophone and live electronics (2023)


  1. 4bkl, for actress, baritone saxophone and live electronics (2020)


  1. Brillance, for alto saxophone and piano (1974)
  2. Quatuor de saxophones, for saxophone quartet (SATB) (1983)


  1. Duo-Sonata, original for two bassoons (1977)


  1. Imperative!, for baritone saxophone solo (2015)


  1. Agrion Hasté, for baritone saxophone and live electronics (2019)

McTEE, Cindy.

  1. Circuits, for alto saxophone and tape (1992)


  1. Spleen III, for baritone saxophone solo (2001)


  1. Dreamlover, for baritone saxophone solo (2017)
  2. Concerto, for baritone saxophone, piano and string orchestra (2018)
  3. Concerto (2021, duo version for baritone saxophone and piano)
  4. Love and Jealousy, chamber opera that includes an alto saxophone (2018)
  5. Two pieces, for alto saxophone solo (2021, extracted from the opera Love and Jealousy)
  6. Poèmes-Masques, for soprano voice and baritone saxophone (2021)
  7. Big Blue Duet, for baritone saxophone and piano (2022)
  8. Whispers, for mezzo-soprano voice, Bb clarinet, baritone saxophone and electronics (2023)

RIBAS, Maria Rosa.

  1. Sonata, for alto saxophone and piano (1980)

RUEFF, Jeanine.

  1. Chanson et Passepied, for alto saxophone and piano (1951)
  2. Trois pour Deux, for baritone saxophone and piano (1982)

TANAKA, Karen.

  1. Night Bird, for alto saxophone and tape (1996)

TORRAS, Montserrat.

  1. Textures, for alto saxophone and violin (2004)

I encourage everyone to discover and perform more repertoire by women composers!

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Joan Martí-Frasquier
Barcelona, 2021.03.08
Updated: 2024.02.22

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