Women Composers

Composers from Belgium

Orlando de Lassus

January 01, 1532 - June 14, 1594

Early Music Period

Orlando de Lassus is a composer who lived and worked during the Renaissance period. Little is known about his family and education, but we do know that he adopted Italian styles while serving patrons in Italy as a young man. He wrote many different genres of music, and even published books with his music while still in his twenties. In 1556, Lassus began to serve under Duke Albrecht V in Munich and eventually was given the role of choirmaster. Over the course of his life, Lassus wrote more than 2,000 pieces of music. He was known and respected across Europe.

 


Josquin de Prez

January 01, 1450 - August 27, 1521

Early Music Period

Josquin de Prez is considered the greatest composer of his time. Known for his motets, masses, and songs, he worked in several important positions at courts and churches in both France and Italy. One trait he became known for was his ability to convey the images and emotions expressed in a text musically. Many details of his life are unknown, but we do know that he held a high reputation during his lifetime that remains today.

 


Guillaume Du Fay

August 13, 1397 - November 27, 1474

Early Music Period

Guillaume Du Fay is considered the greatest composer of his time. Though most of his career he spent working in France and Italy, he also traveled widely, contributing to his international style. On many of his sojourns, Du Fay would meet other composers or be exposed to a variety of styles in different nations. He then would travel home and work to incorporate these styles into his own music. Du Fay was known to write in any genre and was known and loved throughout Europe.

 


César Franck

December 10, 1822 - November 08, 1890

Romantic Period

César Frank was a very influential teacher and composer in France during the 19th century. From all reports, he was a very nice, almost saintly man. His students worshipped him, and it is said he never said a harsh word about anyone.

Born in Belgium, Franck was something of a prodigy. He entered the Paris Conservatory at age of 15. Once, at the end of a piano competition, he was given a very difficult piece to sight-read. "For fun," he transposed the work from the key of Eb to C, amazing the judges. (When a piece is transposed, each pitch is changed and different notes must be played.)

When he was 30, Franck switched from piano to organ. He eventually became a professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory and organist at Ste. Clothilde, which had one of the finest instruments in Paris. Most of his most significant compositions were written for organ. His Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major is still very popular with performers.

 


Johannes Ockeghem

January 01, 1410 - February 06, 1497

Early Music Period

Johannes Ockeghem was born in northeastern France. Not much is known about his life, but we do know that he was a singer, composer, and teacher. He was considered one of the leading composers of his time. Ockeghem held several positions during his life. In the 1440s he worked as a singer at a church in Antwerp. He then went on to work at the private chapel of the French Duke of Bourbon. Around 1450, he entered the service of the French royal court, where he would serve three kings over the span of forty years! Ockeghem is known for writing music for voice, including French songs, motets, and masses.

 


Women Composers

Composers from Belgium

Orlando de Lassus

January 01, 1532 - June 14, 1594

Early Music Period

Orlando de Lassus is a composer who lived and worked during the Renaissance period. Little is known about his family and education, but we do know that he adopted Italian styles while serving patrons in Italy as a young man. He wrote many different genres of music, and even published books with his music while still in his twenties. In 1556, Lassus began to serve under Duke Albrecht V in Munich and eventually was given the role of choirmaster. Over the course of his life, Lassus wrote more than 2,000 pieces of music. He was known and respected across Europe.

 


Josquin de Prez

January 01, 1450 - August 27, 1521

Early Music Period

Josquin de Prez is considered the greatest composer of his time. Known for his motets, masses, and songs, he worked in several important positions at courts and churches in both France and Italy. One trait he became known for was his ability to convey the images and emotions expressed in a text musically. Many details of his life are unknown, but we do know that he held a high reputation during his lifetime that remains today.

 


Guillaume Du Fay

August 13, 1397 - November 27, 1474

Early Music Period

Guillaume Du Fay is considered the greatest composer of his time. Though most of his career he spent working in France and Italy, he also traveled widely, contributing to his international style. On many of his sojourns, Du Fay would meet other composers or be exposed to a variety of styles in different nations. He then would travel home and work to incorporate these styles into his own music. Du Fay was known to write in any genre and was known and loved throughout Europe.

 


César Franck

December 10, 1822 - November 08, 1890

Romantic Period

César Frank was a very influential teacher and composer in France during the 19th century. From all reports, he was a very nice, almost saintly man. His students worshipped him, and it is said he never said a harsh word about anyone.

Born in Belgium, Franck was something of a prodigy. He entered the Paris Conservatory at age of 15. Once, at the end of a piano competition, he was given a very difficult piece to sight-read. "For fun," he transposed the work from the key of Eb to C, amazing the judges. (When a piece is transposed, each pitch is changed and different notes must be played.)

When he was 30, Franck switched from piano to organ. He eventually became a professor of organ at the Paris Conservatory and organist at Ste. Clothilde, which had one of the finest instruments in Paris. Most of his most significant compositions were written for organ. His Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major is still very popular with performers.

 


Johannes Ockeghem

January 01, 1410 - February 06, 1497

Early Music Period

Johannes Ockeghem was born in northeastern France. Not much is known about his life, but we do know that he was a singer, composer, and teacher. He was considered one of the leading composers of his time. Ockeghem held several positions during his life. In the 1440s he worked as a singer at a church in Antwerp. He then went on to work at the private chapel of the French Duke of Bourbon. Around 1450, he entered the service of the French royal court, where he would serve three kings over the span of forty years! Ockeghem is known for writing music for voice, including French songs, motets, and masses.

 


 

Classics for Kids is supported by:

 

© Copyright Cincinnati Public Radio