Four extraordinary female composers are brought to life in Leah Broad’s new group biography Quartet – listen to a reading from this fascinating book enhanced with a bespoke violin and piano recital.
Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell and Doreen Carwithen have long been ghostly presences, surviving only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten – until now.
This evening Fenella Humphreys and Nicola Eimer play music by all four women, while Leah Broad reads from the book, including the stories of Smyth’s suffrage involvement and Howell’s breakthrough success at the 1919 Proms. The book recounts lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, and celebrates their musical masterpieces.
Photograph of Leah Broad by Monika Tomiczek