Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World - Leah Broad; | Foyles Bookstore
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Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World
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Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World (Hardback)

£20.00
Awaiting publication

Synopsis

Ethel Smyth (b.1858): Famed for her operas, this trailblazing queer Victorian composer was a larger-than-life socialite, intrepid traveller and committed Suffragette.



Rebecca Clarke (b.1886): This talented violist and Pre-Raphaelite beauty was one of the first women ever hired by a professional orchestra, later celebrated for her modernist experimentation.



Dorothy Howell (b.1898): A prodigy who shot to fame at the 1919 Proms, her reputation as the 'English Strauss' never dented her modesty; on retirement, she tended Elgar's grave alone.



Doreen Carwithen (b.1922): One of Britain's first woman film composers who scored Elizabeth II's coronation broadcast, her success hid a 20-year affair with her married composition tutor.



In their time, these women were celebrities. They composed some of the century's most popular music and pioneered creative careers; but today, they are ghostly presences, surviving only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten - until now.



Leah Broad's magnificent group biography resurrects these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, and celebrating their musical masterpieces. Lighting up a panoramic sweep of British history over two World Wars, Quartet is a stunning debut that revolutionises the classical canon forever.

Leah Broad is a Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Oxford University, specialising in twentieth-century music. She was one of 2016's BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers and in 2015 won the Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism. She regularly writes and speaks for organisations including Glyndebourne, London Chamber Orchestra, Longborough Opera Festival and the BBC Proms, and was founder of The Oxford Culture Review, a website sharing academic research with a non-specialist readership. Quartet is her first book.

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