Women Composers: The Seventeenth Century – Part II


Isabella Leonarda 6 September 1620 – 25 February 1704) was an Ursulin nun from Novara, Italy.

Mlle Bocquet (early 17th century–after 1660) was a French lutenist and composer. She ran a Salon with a Mlle de Scudéry from 1653–1659. She was in contact with members and founders of the Académie française.

Lady Mary Dering (née Mary Harvey) (bap. 3 September 1629 – 7 February 1704) was an English composer.  She had 17 children, seven of them dying young. She outlived her oldest son.

“…Some of her music was published inJohn Playford’s Select Ayres and Dialogues, and three of her songs were published in Lawes’ Second book of airs; these are the first known published works by a woman in England….”

Maria Francesca Nascinbeni (ca. 1640–1680) was an Italian composer.

Esther Elizabeth Velkiers (born 1640) was a Genevan singer, musician and composer.

Amalia Catharina (8 August 1640 – 4 January 1697), Countess of Erbach, was a German poet and composer.

Antonia Padoani Bembo (ca. 1640 – ca. 1720) was an Italian composer and singer, who sang for Louis XIV.

Cornelia Calegari [Maria Cattarina (also known as Maria Caterina)] (1644 – after 1675), was an Italian composer, singer, organist, and nun.

“…In 1663,Archbishop Alfonso Littaand the Catholic Church silenced this musical era with orders not to produce or perform music for at least three years after scandals and concerns regarding music and morality arose in the region. It is believed that these orders, in combination with a disagreement with the convent over Calegari’s spiritual dowry, are major factors involved in the disappearance of all physical manifestations of her music leaving only written accounts of their existence…”

Marieta Morosina Priuli (fl. 1665) was an Italian composer.

Rosa Giacinta Badalla (ca. 1660 – ca. 1710) was an Italian composer and Benedictine nun.

Angiola Teresa Moratori Scanabecchi (1662 – 19 April 1708) was an Italian composer and painter.

Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre (full name Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre; born Élisabeth Jacquet, 17 March 1665, Paris – 27 June 1729, Paris) was a French musician, harpsichordist and composer.  Quite a bit of her work has been recorded.

“…Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre (née Elisabeth Jacquet) was born into a family of musicians and master instrument-makers in the parish of Saint-Louis-en-l’Île, Paris. A child prodigy, she received her initial musical education from her father and performed on the harpsichord at a young age before King Louis XIV. As a teenager she was accepted into the French court where her education was supervised by the king’s mistress, Françoise-Athénaïs, marquise de Montespan. She stayed with the royal court until it moved to Versailles and in 1684 she married the organist Marin de La Guerre, son of the late organist at the Sainte-Chapelle, Michel de La Guerre. After her marriage she taught, composed, and gave concerts at home and throughout Paris, to great acclaim…Jacquet de La Guerre was one of the few well-known female composers of her time…”