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Viola Music by Women Composers
By Dr. Carolyn Waters Broe
ASTA/NSOA Conference 2005
This Presentation was Partially funded by the
Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

*Works composed for, premièred by, or arranged by Dr. David Sills
** Treasury of Music By Women Before 1800
edited or arranged for viola ensembles by William Bauer, ARS FEMINA editions

Renaissance and Medieval
  • Hildegard von Bingen: In rubor sanguinis* voice and viola (German, 1098-1179)
  • Anne Boleyn: O Death, rock me asleep* (Queen of England c.1501-1536)
  • La Contessa de Dia: A chantar* (Medieval Troubdour, Provence, … 1200)
  • La Contessa: Canzona I and II - arr. for viola trio ** (German, c. 1570-1620)
  • A Lady (18th century): Lesson VI*
  • Antonia Bembo: Divertimento, viola trio ** (Italian, c.1670 - before1715)
  • Sophie von Braunschweig: Three Dances, viola quartet ** (German, 1613-1667)
  • Sophie von Braunschweig: Brunet Bluhet viola quintet **
  • Francesca Caccini: Balletto a Cavallo viola quintet ** (Italian, 1587-after 1638)
  • Isabella Leonarda: Sonata duodecima* (Italian, 1620-1704)
  • Beatrice Mattei - Sonata, Viola and Harpsichord - (Italian c.1740 ARS FEMINA)
  • Ana Amalia: Divertimento for piano, clarinet, viola, cello (German, 1739-1807)
  • Mary Polly Barthelemon (nee Young): Se pieta da voi non trovo: Soprano, violins, viola. and cello (English, 1749-1799)
  • Maddalena Lombardini: Duo Sonata Op. 4, No.1 ** (Italian, c. 1735 -1818)
  • Maddalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen: Six Quartetti
  • Elisabeth Olin: Lamento for Soprano, vlns., viola and cont. (Swedish, 1740-1812)
  • Maria Theresa von Paradis: Sicilienne* (Austrian, 1759-1824)
  • Luise Adolpha Le Beau: Three Pieces for Viola and Piano (German, 1850-1927)
  • Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel: String Quartet in Eb, Pn. Q. (German, 1805-1847)
  • Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel: Die fruhen Graber for viola, 2 cellos and double bass
  • Emilie Mayer: 7 str. quartets, 3 str. quintets, 2 pf. quartets (German, 1821-1883)
  • Emilie Mayer: Sonata (cello/pf.) trans. for viola/pf.
  • Polly Rupe: Gentle Words* (American,1867)
  • Clara Schumann: Three Romances, Op. 22* (German, 1819-1896)
20th Century and Contemporary

Viola alone
  • Eveline Accart: Sonata (French, 1921- )
  • Allyson Applebaum: Soliloquy* (USA)
  • Grazyna Bacewicz: Sonata (Polish, 1909-1969)
  • Grazyna Bacewicz: Polish Caprice
  • Carolyn Waters Broe: Tokudo - The Gate of Enlightenment (USA,1957 - )
  • Carolyn Waters Broe: Hora - Dance Around the Pillar of Ashera
  • Sarah DuBois: Sonata for Solo Viola, 2001 (USA, 1951- )
  • Sarah DuBois: 3 Movements for Solo Viola, 2004
  • Eibhlis Farrell: Persephone Weaving* (Irish, 1953- )
  • Vivian Fine: Song of Persephone (USA, 1913-2000)
  • Lillian Fuchs: Sonata Pastorale, 3 Etude volumes (USA, 1903-1995)
  • Barbara Giuranna: Solo per viola (Italian, 1899-1998)
  • Betsy Jolas: Episode sixième (French, 1926- )
  • Barbara Kolb: Cavatina (USA, 1939- )
  • Carey Lovelace: Rising* (USA)
  • Elizabeth Lutyens: Sonata (English, 1906-1983)
  • Elizabeth Maconchy: Five Sketches (English, 1907-1994)
  • Elizabeth Maconchy: Variations on a Theme from Vaughn Williams's Job*
  • Ursula Mamlok: Composition for viola solo* (German, 1928- )
  • Ursula Mamlok: From My Garden*
  • Betty Olivera: Sonata for Viola (Israel)
  • Claire Polin: Serpentine (USA, 1926-1995)
  • Marga Richter: The Darkening of the Light (USA, 1926- )
  • Tona Scherchen: Lien (French, 1938- )
  • Ruth Schonthal: Four Epiphanies (German, 1924- )
  • Judith Shatin: L'Etude du Coeur (USA, 1949- )
  • Marcelle Soulage: Sonate in F, Op. 43
  • Hilary Tann: The Cresset Stone* (Welsh, 1947- )
  • Phyllis Tate: Variegations (UK, 1911-1985)
  • Nancy Van de Vate: Suite (USA, 1930- )
  • Stephanie Wiener: Sonata in D
  • Janet Beat - Circe (Bastet) (Scottish, 1937)
  • Violeta Dinescu - Din cimoiu (unpublished) (Romania, 1953)
  • Elena Firsova - Suite (B&H) (Russia, 1950)
  • Barbara Kolb - Cavatina (B&H)
  • Thea Musgrave - In the Still of the Night (Novello)
  • Janet Owen Thomas - Partita (Maecenas) (British)
  • Elisabeth Lutyens - Echo of the Wind (University of York Press)
  • Roxanne - Thunder (USA, 1956)
Viola and Orchestra or Ensemble
  • Grazyna Bacewicz: Concerto (Polish, 1909-1996)
  • Sofia Gubaidulina: Two Paths (Concerto for two violas) (Soviet Union, 1931 - )
  • Peggy Glanville-Hicks: Concerto Romantico (Australian, 1912-1990)
  • Betsy Jolas: Points d'aube (viola and 13 winds) (French, 1926- )
  • Elizabeth Lutyens: Concerto Op. 15 (English, 1906-1983)
  • Marga Richter: Aria and Toccata (viola and strings) (USA, 1926- )
  • Thea Musgrave: Concerto (Scottish, 1928- )
  • Thea Musgrave: From One to Another (viola and 15 solo strings)
  • Elizabeth Maconchy - Romanza (Chester)
  • Sally Beamish - 2 viola concertos!
Viola and Electronic Tape
  • Pozzi Escot: Mirabilis* (USA, 1933- )
  • Jean Eichelberger Ivey: Aldebaran (USA, 1923- )
  • Thea Musgrave: From One to Another (Scottish, 1928- )
  • Ann Southam: Re-Tuning (Canadian, 1937- )
  • Diane Thome: Levadi II* (USA, 1942- )
Viola and Piano
  • Marion Bauer: Sonata (USA, 1882-1955)
  • Amy Beach: Sonata [arr. Hannay] (USA, 1867-1944)
  • Nadia Boulanger: Trois pièces* (French, 1887-1979)
  • Margaret Brouwer: Two Pieces (USA, 1944- )
  • Rebecca Clarke: Sonata, 1919 (English, 1886-1979)
  • Rebecca Clarke: Lullaby, 1909 and Lullaby on An Ancient Irish Tune, 1913
  • Rebecca Clarke: Passacaglia on an Old English Tune, and Untitled Movement
  • Rebecca Clarke: Morpheus, 1917-18, and I'll Bid My Heart Be Still, 1944
  • Eibhlis Farrell: Viola Elegy
  • Elaine Fine: Tango Mariposa for Viola and Piano, Viola Sonata (USA, 1959 - )
  • Vivian Fine: Lieder (USA, 1913-2000)
  • Miriam Gideon: Sonata (USA, 1906-1996)
  • Janetta Gould: Oh, Can Ye Sew Cushions for viola/horn, piano (Scottish, 1926)
  • Pamela Harrison: Sonata, and Lament (English, 1915-1990)
  • Betsy Jolas: Quatre duos (French, 1926- )
  • Louise Lincoln Kerr: Five Character Pieces (USA, 1892-1977)
  • Julia Klumpkey: Quatre pièces and Suite No. 2 (USA, ca.1870-1961)
  • Priaulx Rainier: Sonata (South African-English, 1903-1986)
  • Eda Rapoport: Chant hébraïque and Poem (1900- ?)
  • Marga Richter: Aria and Toccata (USA, 1926- )
  • Tracy Rush: Song (USA, 1955 - )
  • Julia Smith: Two Pieces (USA, 1911-1989)
  • Mary Alice Rich: Sonata (USA, 1955 - )
  • Dame Ethel Smyth: Two Interlinked French Folk-Melodies (English, 1858-1944)
  • Marcelle Soulage: Sonate in a, Op. 25 (French, 1894-1970)
  • Freda Swain: English Reel, and Summer Rhapsody vla/clt. (English 1902-1985)
  • Nancy Van de Vate: Sonata (USA, 1930- )
  • Elizabeth Walton Vercoe: Elegy (USA, 1941- )
  • Sally Beamish - Sule Skerrie (Scottish Music Information Centre)
  • Janet Beat - Equinox Rituals: Autumn (Furore)
  • Tansy Davies - Small Black Stone (New Voices: British Music Information Centre)
  • Minna Keal - Ballade in F Minor (Corda) (England 1909-1999)
  • Priaulx Rainier - Sonata (Schott)
  • Maria Theresa von Paradis (arr Dushkin) - Sicilienne
Etudes for Viola
  • Lillian Fuchs: 12 Etudes, Fifteen Characteristic Etudes, 16 Fantasy Etudes
  • Nancy Van de Vate: Six Etudes
  • Stephanie Wiener: Six Etudes

Viola and Voice

  • Pozzi Escot: Bels Dous Amics (mezzo-soprano, oboe, and viola) (USA, 1933)
  • Deborah Kavasch: Abelard (soprano and viola) (USA, 1949- )
  • Eibhlis Farrell: The Lovesong of Isabella and Elias Cairel (soprano, oboe, viola)
  • Ruth Lomon: Five Songs after Poems /William Blake (voice, vla) (Canada, 1930)
  • Myriam Lucia Marbé: Na Castelloza (mezzo-sop., oboe, viola) (Russian, 1931- )
  • Patricia Morehead: A Chantar (mezzo-soprano, oboe, and viola) (USA)
  • Netty Simon: Songs for Wendy (voice and viola) (USA, 1913-1994)
  • Naomi Stephan: Na Maria (mezzo-soprano, oboe, and viola) (USA, 1938- )
Viola in Chamber settings
  • Victoria Bond: Conversation Piece (viola and vibraphone) (USA, 1945- )
  • Carolyn Waters Broe: Rebirth of the Goddess (flute, harp and viola)
  • Rebecca Clarke: Three Pieces (Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale (clarinet and viola)
  • Rebecca Clarke: Lullaby, Grotesque (viola and violoncello)
  • Ruth Crawford-Seeger: String Quartet (USA, 1901-1953)
  • Ruth Crawford-Seeger: Diaphonic Suite No. 4 for oboe/viola and cello
  • Margaret De Wys: Raptor (oboe and viola) (USA)
  • Sylvia Glickman: Antigone Speaks for flute and viola (USA, 1932- )
  • Elaine Fine: Tango Mariposa for Viola, Cello and Harp (USA, 1959 - )
  • Betsy Jolas: Remember (viola and violoncello)
  • Louise Kerr: Etude (viola and violin) (USA, 1892-1977)
  • Louise Kerr: Oriental (viola and violin)
  • Louise Kerr: String Quartet in A Major and string quartet movements
  • Louise Kerr: Piano Quartets and Piano Quintets
  • Ursula Mamlok: Music for Viola and Harp (German, 1928- )
  • Ursula Mamlok: Rhapsody (clarinet, viola, and piano)
  • Ursula Mamlok: Concertpiece for Four (flute, oboe, viola, and percussion)
  • Thea Musgrave: Elegy (viola and violoncello)
  • Dame Ethel Smyth: Variations on "Bonny Sweet Robin" (flute, viola, and piano)
  • Hilary Tann: Duo for Oboe and Viola*
  • Debra Zae Munn: Interface (viola and marimba) (1953- )


  • Violeta Dinescu - Ostov I for 4 violas
  • Sofia Gubaidulina - Quasi Hoquetus for Viola Bassoon and Piano (Soviet, 1931)
  • Thea Musgrave - Lamenting with Ariadne (ensemble of 8 players, prominent viola solo)

Note: This is not a complete list of all viola works. My apologies if I have missed anyone.


Edwin A. Fleischer Collection of scores at the Free Library of Philadelphia, Kile Smith.

Louise L. Kerr Collection MSS-90 at Arizona State University, Department of Archives and manuscripts, Haydn Library, Tempe, Arizona. Robert Spindler, curator.

Primrose International Viola Archives at Brigham Young University, Patricia McCarty.


Carolyn Waters Broe
The String Literature of Louise Lincoln Kerr: An Edition of Her Viola Music and Analysis of her Violin Concerto. Carolyn Waters Broe, 2001, Arizona State University, Doctor of Musical Arts in Viola Solo Performance

Daniela Kohnen
Rebecca Clarke. Weg einer Komponistin Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts. Hausarbeit, Hochschule für Musik Detmold, 1994, 75 S.

Michael A. Palumbo
The Viola: Its Foundation, Role, and Literature, Including An Analysis of the "Twelve Caprices" of Lillian Fuchs. Michael A. Palumbo, 1981, Ball State University Doctor of Arts in Orchestral Conducting

Web Sites (information on FSO, Carolyn Broe and women composers) - 19k - (lists women composers) (publishing historic women composers) (publishing historic women composers) (women composers and conductors) (International Alliance of Women Musicians) (resources for violists) (modern composers) (California State University, Northridge) archives of articles and recordings gathered by Aaron Cohen on women composers (composers) (American Symphony Orchestra League) (American String Teacher Association web) (information on Rebecca Clarke's music) (University of Murry, Kentucky)

Paul Silverthorne

Battersby, Christine. Gender and Genius: Towards a Feminist Aesthetics. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1989.

Bowers, Jane and Tick, Judith eds. Women Making Music: The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1987.

Briscoe, James R., ed. Historical Anthology of Music by Women. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1987.

Cohen, Aaron I. International Encyclopedia of Women Composers. 2 Vols. New York: Books & Music, USA. 1981.

Curtis, Liane, ed. Rebecca Clarke Reader. Bloomington and Indianopolis: Indiana University Press, 2004.

Ebel, Otto. Women Composers: a Biographical Handbook of Women's Work in Music. Brooklyn, New York: 1902.

Glickman, Sylvia and Schleifer, Martha Furman. Women Composers: Music Through the Ages: Composers Born Before 1599 (Vol. 1); From Convent to Concert Hall; Composers Born 1700-1799; American Women Composers, Keyboard Music 1866-1910.

Jezic, Diane Peacock. Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found (forward Elizabeth Wood). New York: The Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1988.

Lutyens, Elisabeth. A Goldfish Bowl. London: Cassell, 1972.

Marshall, Kimberly, ed. Rediscovering the Muses: Women's Musical Traditions. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1993.

Neuls-Bates, Carol, ed. Women in Music: An Anthology of Source Readings from the Middle Ages to the Present. Revised ed. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1996. [Includes an extensive bibliography.]

Sadie, Julie Anne and Samuel, Rhian eds. The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. London: W.W. Norton and Company, 1995.

Williams, Amedee Daryl. "Lillian Fuchs First Lady of Viola". Studies in the History and Interpretation of Music, Vol. 45

Zeyringer, Franz. Literatur für Viola, new edition revised and expanded. Hartberg: Julius Schönwetter Jr., 1985. Mus Ref ML 128 .V36 Z5 1985



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