For part 2 of this series on women and the classical guitar, I have decided to take a look through the composers published by Les Productions d’Oz. This is one of the largest guitar publishing houses, and it happens to be Canadian!
If anyone needed illustration of the ratio of men-women in the classical guitar world, one need only look at the list of artists on the publisher’s website (the list is not up to date, but gives a good starting point). Granted, not all of the artists are guitar composers (d’Oz also publishes music for orchestra, chamber ensembles, and other solo instruments), however, the majority of the music published by d’Oz is for guitar. Of the 12 women on the list, two have not published for guitar (Lorraine Desmarais and Linda Bouchard), so I will not include them in the list that follows.
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=olga+amelkina-vera
Olga Amelkina-Vera is a guitarist-composer with a DMA in guitar performance and a few composition prizes to her name. On top of her performance degrees, she is also currently finishing a master’s in composition. She has an active performing career, and is one half of a guitar duo known as KitharaDuo. She has 11 pieces published with D’Oz, all of which are for guitar (solo, duo, trio, quartet, and sextet). She has also composed for other instruments, as can be seen on her website. Some of her compositions can be listened to on her guitar duo’s YouTube channel here. I would recommend taking a listen to The Heaven’s Hundred (written for, and performed by Matt Palmer), and the guitar duet Prelude and Bagatelle (performed by KitharaDuo).
Canadian Music Centre: www.musiccentre.ca/node/37882/showcase
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=ginette+Bellavance
Ginette Bellavance is a Canadian composer who has written one piece for guitar, as far as I can tell. The piece is a Scherzo for guitar and orchestra. I cannot find a recording of the piece on YouTube, however, there is a short clip of the piece on the D’Oz website. If anyone knows anything about this piece or its premier, and if it was recorded, please let me know in the comments below!
Biography and List of Works: www.justclassicalguitar.com/vpmusicmedia/borislova.htm
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=nadia+borislova
Nadia Borislova is a Russian guitarist and composer. She has 10 pieces published with D’Oz, all of which are for guitar. The publications are a mix of guitar methods, guitar solos, and chamber/ensemble pieces. She has used some interesting extended techniques in her compositions and performances (check out “The Dance of the Wind and the Shaman“). From the videos that I could find, she seems to be a very expressive performer. Her playing and compositions explore the full range of dynamics, colours, and effects that can be found on the guitar. Here is a video of her performing one of the solo pieces that is published with d’Oz, “Midnight Train.”
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=nelly+decamp
Nelly Decamp is a French composer and guitarist who has three publications with d’Oz. Her “Portrait Video” will give you a good sense of her musical interests and her compositional style (also, there are some cool video shots from the inside of the guitar). Her music is not purely “classical,” and seems to be heavily influenced by jazz harmonies. Here is a video of Nelly Decamp playing her piece “Cancion en Ré.”
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=veronique+gillet
Belgian composer, guitarist, and cellist, Veronique Gillet, also has three piece published with d’Oz, although she has a few other pieces on her YouTube channel. I could not find recordings of the pieces that are available on D’Oz, however, I did come across this rather beautiful piece, “Horses in the Puszta.” This is the first track on her solo guitar album, Raga y Danza, which is available on iTunes here. I can’t seem to find the sheet music for this – please let me know in the comments if you find it!
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=Annette+Kruisbrink
Dutch guitarist and composer Annette Kruisbrink might be the most prolific female guitar composer that I have come across so far. She has 68 entries in the d’Oz catalogue, ranging from easy to advanced, and from guitar solo to mixed chamber music to mandolin to guitar ensemble and more. Her full list of compositions is available on her website here. She has an active YouTube channel with plenty of recordings of her music. Annette Kruisbrink also put together an anthology of music by female composers for d’Oz, as I mentioned in my last blog post.
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=fabienne+magnant
Fabienne Magnant is a French guitarist and composer with interests in classical and Flamenco guitar and the Brazilian guitar type instrument, the viola caïpira. She has 6 solo works published with d’Oz. Her music is not purely “classical” in the most traditional sense, as she draws heavily from her studies of flamenco guitar and Brazilian music. A recording of one of the pieces available through d’Oz, “Iberique,” is available on her YouTube channel. She also has recordings of her playing the viola caïpira, such as this video of her piece “Temps Mort.”
Canadian Music Centre: www.musiccentre.ca/node/37783/showcase
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=katia+makdissi
Canadian composer Katia Makdissi-Warren has written two pieces for guitar, one of which is available through d’Oz. Recorded fragments of both of the pieces (“Deux airs de guitare” and “Ballade pour guitare”) are available on her website here.
D’Oz Listings: www.productionsdoz.com/en/catalogsearch/result/?q=gloria+villanueva
Spanish composer, pianist and guitarist Gloria Villanueva has two pieces published with d’Oz, although her catalogue of works for the guitar is considerably larger. I came across this video of Julia Trintschuk playing Ms. Villanueva’s B-612, and was intrigued by the title. I would play this piece just for the concept behind the work. The piece was written as a tribute to the 60th anniversary of the publishing of The Little Prince. B-612 is the planet from which the Prince originates. More of her works (including B-612) are published with Editorials Works, La Mà de Guido. Here is a video of the composer herself playing a bluesy composition, “Guitar Constellation X,” from the collection of pieces Guitar Constellation, available through d’Oz.
Thank you for making your way through this post! I will have another list style post on female guitar composers next week. As always, please leave comments below – let me know if I have missed anyone from this list of d’Oz composers!