Home Page
CD Index

C lassical C omposers (T-V)

Classical music (and some jazz and folk) from Leonarda
Includes many American composers and works by women

Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983): Germaine Tailleferre's parents considered music an improper career, but were finally persuade to let Germaine enter the Paris Conservatoire when she was 12. She studied with Koechlin and Ravel and won first prize in solfège, harmony, and counterpoint. She joined with fellow students to form "Les Six," followers of the French composer Erik Satie, who represented a new, more radical style. Tailleferre's music is immediately appealing, reflecting the philosophy of "Les Six," who valued simplicity and unpretentiousness. The music is light and elegant, avoiding the heavy harmonies and repetitive forms of the German music which had dominated the nineteenth century. Tailleferre wrote music for film, radio and television; stage works (one with Cocteau); chamber music and vocal music. Mon mari, m'a diffamée from Six Chansons Française (voice and piano). Audio sample mp3 (:21) from Leonarda CD #LE338. Pastorale (flute and piano) is on Leonarda cassette #LE304cs.

Elias Tanenbaum (1924-2008) (USA) Transformations (flute and tape) is on Leonarda cassette #LPI 221cs.

Carlo S. Taube (1897-1944), born in Galicia, was a virtuoso pianist who studied for several years with Busoni in Vienna, but to support himself, played in cafes and night clubs, first in Vienna and later in Brno and Prague. Taube, his wife Erika, and their child arrived at Terezín in December, 1941. In Terezin, Taube led concerts of semiclassical music, very much in the style of the "spa" orchestras popular in prewar Europe, in the musical pavilion in the neglected park on the Terezín square. He also gave ambitious piano concerts, probably overly-ambitious, according to some critics in the crowd. Taube composed a number of works in Terezin, but only one survives, the song Ein Jüdisches Kind, composed November 4,1942, set to a text by his wife, Erika. This short but moving work has some Hebraic elements in its melodic writing, while its simple but effective harmonies are reminiscent of what may have been Taube's piano style in the clubs. Both the poem and music are a touching tribute to their own Jewish child. The young Taube accompanied his parents to Auschwitz in October, 1944, where they perished. Ein Jüdisches Kind(voice and piano), audio sample mp3 (:48) from Leonarda CD #LE 342.

Nikogos Tchouhadjian [also Tashchyan, Tashchyàn] (1841-1885) (Armenia) Ave Maria (voice and organ) is on Leonarda CD #LE341.

Diane Thome (b.1942) is Professor and Chair of the Composition Program at the University of Washington's School of Music. Composer of a wide variety of works that span solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, and electronic media, Thome is the first woman to write computer-synthesized music. Her compositions have been presented in Europe, China, Australia, Israel, Canada, and throughout the USA. She has been a guest of the Ecole Nationale Claude Debussy and featured on French radio, and composer-in-residence at the University of Sussex, Bennington Chamber Music Conference and Composers Forum of the East. Recent awards include 1994 Washington Composer of the Year, 1995-96 Solomon Katz Distinguished Professor in the Humanities, and a 1998 International Computer Music Conference Commission. Thome holds a Ph.D. and M.F.A. in Composition from Princeton and a M.A. in Theory and Composition from the University of Pennsylvania. Pianismus (solo piano). A audio samples mp3 #1; mp3 #2 from Leonarda CD #LE345.

Ludmila Ulehla (1923-2010) was born in Flushing (Queens), New York. She studied piano and violin and wrote short pieces at the age of five. Her composition studies were with Vittorio Giannini at the Manhattan School of Music. Ulehla was appointed to the faculty of that school in 1947, and later served as Chairperson of the Composition Department. Ulehla's compositions, performed worldwide, include all forms of solo and chamber ensembles. Elegy for a Whale, commissioned by the New York Camerata, incorporates whale sounds drawn from a tape made by Dr. and Mrs. Roger Payne. The performance is from a broadcast tape recorded live May 8, 1978  Elegy for a Whale (flute, cello, piano) is on Leonarda cassette #LE304cs.

Nancy Van de Vate (b.1930) studied at the Eastman School of Music, Wellesley College, and Florida State University, where she earned a doctorate in composition. Her works are widely acclaimed, and have been performed in major cities throughout the world. Van de Vate is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Composer's Fellowship and is a first prize-winner of the Los Alamos Chamber Music Competition. She has been a resident fellow at Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and Ossabaw Island, and an instructor at several American colleges and universities. Her articles on composers and composing have been published in Music America, Symphony News, The International Musician, Music Educators Journal, and The Instrumentalist. Van de Vate was one of the founders of the International League of Women Composers in 1975, which she chaired until moving to Indonesia in 1982. She now resides in Vienna, Austria. Journeys (orchestra). Audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE 327.

Misha Veksler (1907-1943), a composer and pianist, conducted the Jewish theatre orchestra in the Vilna ghetto and composed many popular ghetto songs. A hunchback crippled by polio, he had to continually hide from the Nazis, who sought out those with handicaps for immediate extermination. Leyb Rozenthal (1916-1945) (words) wrote many songs during his years in the ghetto and is the author of a number of plays for revue theatres. Yisrolik tells the story of a child peddler. Written in the Vilna ghetto, it was first performed in January, 1942. Veksler; Rozenthal; and Rozenthal's sister, who participated in the first performance; were all active in the cultural life of the ghetto. When the Vilna ghetto was liquidated, Veksler was deported and killed at Ponar. Rozenthal died at the Dutmergen death camp. There were thousands of child peddlers in the Vilna and Warsaw ghettos. They provided a vital link with the outside, sneaking in and out by way of sewer pipes, climbing over fences, slipping past guards. They brought back food and other items from outside the ghetto walls, often bribing guards and officials with stolen goods. Once outside, they joined the many non-Jewish child peddlers on the streets. They were also messengers for the resistance. Most were eventually caught and shot. Yisrolik (voice and piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE342

Lucie Vellère (1896-1966), a native of Brussels, began studies in solfège and piano with her father at the age of six, and later studied violin with Emile Chaumont, harmony with Paul Miry, and composition with Joseph Jongen. Her output of approximately 100 works spans a period of 48 years. Most of her compositions are for voice, solo instruments, and chamber ensembles, although she also wrote for chorus and for orchestra. She worked independently of the modernistic schools and fashions of her time, preferring to express her individuality through a fairly traditional style. Among the prizes she won are the 1957 "Prix du Brabant" and an award from the American Section of the International Council for Women. Quatuor a Cordes, No. 3 (string quartet), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE336.

Elizabeth Vercoe (b.1941), a native of Washington, D.C., has spent most of her adult life in Concord, Massachusetts. She graduated from Wellesley College, earned a MM degree at the University of Michigan and a DMA at Boston University, where she studied with Gardner Read. She has won composition awards from both Wellesley and Boston University, and was commissioned to write a fanfare for the inauguration of the 11th president of Wellesley College. Many other commissions and awards have followed. Vercoe has written a series of "Herstory" works for voice and various instruments which have been widely performed and recorded. Andromeda Rag (voice and piano), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE338.

Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) Ave Maria (voice and organ), audio sample mp3 from Leonarda CD #LE341.

Pauline Viardot-Garcia (1821-1910) and her sister Maria Malibran were the reigning divas of their day. Daughter of Manuel Garcia, a Rossini expert and famous voice pedagogue, Pauline studied piano with Liszt and composition with Reicha. A very intelligent woman, she was always in the company of artists and intellectuals, and she aided the careers of Gounod, Massenet, Saint-Säens, and Fauré, while Chopin and Liszt apparently admired her music. Pauline's own operatic career began in 1839 and lasted until 1862. From 1861 to 1872 she made most of her appearances on the recital stage, and in her later years taught at the Paris Conservatoire. Her little-known compositions include piano pieces, about 100 songs, and three operettas. Das Vöglein  (voice and piano), audio sample mp3, and Die Beschwörung, audio sample  mp3, are both on double CD #LE353, which can be used in conjunction with the book Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found. Das Gärtner (voice and piano) is on Leonarda CD #LE338

Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) Ave Maria (voice and organ) is on Leonarda CD #LE341.


Links to alphabetical list of composers
Bios and links to their recordings at this site

 A   B  C-E F-G H-I J-K  L   M  N-Q  R   S  T-V W-Z