Women Composers: The Seventeenth Century – Part III


Françoise-Charlotte de Senneterre Ménétou (1679 – 4 November 1745) was a French harpsichordist and composer.

Maria Anna de Raschenau (fl. 18th century) was an Austrian composer and nun.

Michielina (also known as Michaelis or Michieletta) della Pietà (fl. ca. 1700 – 1744) was an Italian composer, violinist, organist, and teacher of music.

Caterina Benedicta Grazianini (fl. early 18th century) was an Italian composer of oratorios in Vienna.

Camilla de Rossi was an Italian composer.

Maria Margherita Grimani  was an Italian composer who, at some points in her life, was active in Vienna. Very little else about her is known. Among her compositions was the first opera by a woman to be performed at the Vienna court theater.

Mrs Philarmonica was the pseudonym of an English Baroque composer.

Marie-Anne-Catherine Quinault (26 August 1695 in Strasbourg – 1793 in Paris)

“...(known as l’aînée) was a French singer and composer. Her father was the actor Jean Quinault (1656–1728), and her brother was Jean-Baptiste-Maurice Quinault, a singer, composer, and actor. She made her debut at the Paris Opera in 1709 in Jean-Baptiste Lully‘s Bellérophon. She remained at the opera until 1713. In 1714 she began singing at the Comédie-Française, where she remained until 1722. Quinault composed motets for the Royal Chapel at the Palace of Versailles. For one of these motets she was awarded the first Order of Saint Michael given to a woman.  She was the mistress of the Duc of Orleans and may have been secretly married to the Duc of Nevers. This brought her into higher social spheres and earned her a pension on the King’s tab. She would spend 1723 – 1793 living in an apartment in the Louvre, at the Pavilion de L’Infante….”

Rosanna Scalfi Marcello (1704 or 1705 – after 1742) was an Italian singer and composer.

“…Rosanna Scalfi was a gondola singer of Venetian arie di battello, and was taken as a singing student by Italian nobleman, magistrate, writer, and composer Benedetto Marcello about 1723. The two were secretly wed in a religious ceremony on 20 May 1728, when she was twenty-four years old. However, this marriage to a commoner was unlawful and they never completed the civil requirements.  After Marcello died of tuberculosis in 1739, the marriage was declared null by the state, and Rosanna was unable to inherit his estate. Left destitute, she filed suit in 1742 against Benedetto’s brother Alessandro Marcello, seeking financial support, but her claims were rejected. She appeared as Arbace in Giuseppe Antonio Paganelli’s Artaserse at St. Salvatore during the Ascension season that same year.

She composed twelve cantatas for alto and basso continuo, writing most if not all of the texts, as well. The manuscript volume, Twelve Cantatas for Alto Voice and Basso Continuo (ca. 1730), has been published in modern edition by Deborah Hayes and John Glenn Paton (Fayetteville, AR: ClarNan Editions, 2012). The editors’ preface includes a biography of the composer, notes on the cantata lyrics and music, and guidelines for performance. The edition also contains continuo realizations, poetic rendering of the lyrics in Italian, and English translation...”

Zanetta Farussi known as “La Buranella” (27 August 1707, Venice – 29 November 1776, Dresden) was an Italian comedic actress. Her eldest son was the famous adventurer, Giacomo Casanova.

Wilhelmine of Prussia, Margravine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth – Princess Wilhelmine of Prussia (Friederike Sophie Wilhelmine; 3 July 1709 – 14 October 1758) was a princess of the German Kingdom of Prussia (the older sister of Frederick the Great) and composer. She was the eldest daughter of Frederick William I of Prussia and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover, and granddaughter of George I of Great Britain. In 1731, she married Frederick, Margrave of Brandenburg-Bayreuth.