The first woman composer to earn a degree from the University of Michigan, Elaine Friedman Lebenbom responded to sexism and anti-Semitism by composing works that celebrated Jewish themes and women’s experiences.
Adrienne Cooper played a critical role in the revival of Yiddish music as founder of the Yiddish Folk Arts Program (KlezKamp), a group that brought together musicians, linguists, and anthropologists to recover the tradition of Klezmer.
Meredith Monk’s avant-garde, mixed-media creations blend music, dance, film, and live performance to explore the collision of past and present, from the Black Plague to the AIDS crisis and from the medieval ghetto to Ellis Island.
Miriam Gideon took inspiration for her compositions from great poetry and Jewish prayers, earning acclaim as the second woman inducted into the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters in 1976.
A modernist composer who experimented with dissonance, serialism, and complex harmonies, Marion Eugénie Bauer also made strides for women through her musical scholarship that revived interest in female composers.
Dorothy Fields wrote songs for a wide variety of musicals that became dearly loved classics of American culture, from “Hey Big Spender” to “A Fine Romance” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” which won an Academy Award in 1936.