This site is dedicated to the remarkable women who, overcoming the prejudices of their time, produced musical works of great value which deserve to be better known.
I haven't yet found the time to translate the whole site into English, so here is a brief description.
Les Compositrices en France au XIXe siècle, which was published in March 2006 by Fayard in Paris, constitutes the basis of the site. It is a revised version of my doctorate thesis (2004) and represents the first comprehensive study of women composers in a European country over a long period, exploring sociological as well as musicological aspects of careers and works.
More than ten years of research allowed me to reveal an unsuspected musical legacy. I made use of a few pioneering works, but also examined numerous sources under a new angle and explored a great quantity of music, manuscript and/or engraved, even recorded, in some rare cases. My personal dictionary includes more than 1000 names, from which emerge around 20 women composers of a very high standard, who expressed themselves in all musical genres and enjoyed public recognition and respect from their peers.
I propose lectures (with recordings), or concert-lectures (with the participation of musicians), on a variety of themes: portrait of a composer, women's musical education, status of professional women musicians, great female pianists, female orchestral musicians, feminist consciousness of French women composers, etc.
Being trilingual, I can offer lectures in French, English or German.
I indicate concerts including works by 19th century French women composers, as well as lectures on related subjects, in the whole world. You are welcome to inform me if you know of any events I may have missed.
I briefly present some of the composers, in certain cases with a portrait or a photograph.
Lists of available scores, frequently revised in order to include new publications.
Lists of available recordings, also frequently revised.
The list of books used for my research, regularly enriched by new publications.
Links to sites on Women and Music and Women Composers, as well as sites of specialised publishers, libraries, associations and performers.
A list of works which are at present considered to be lost, but might be hidden away in some attic!
Please feel free to write to me for any questions and remarks: Florence Launay, email@example.com