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Student Solo Favorites: Living Women Composers

Let’s face it: Classical Music hasn’t always been friendly to women. Many women composers throughout the centuries have had to compose in secret, publish their music under a fake male identity, or haven’t received proper recognition until after they’ve passed.

But the good news is that things can change, including the stick-in-the-mud, slow-to-change Classical Music world! And given that there are so many young girls studying flute, here are some of their favorite pieces composed by living women!

Btw, if you order music through the blog links, I get a little commission, and you get a little discount at checkout. Or, use the code SIMPERMUSIC when you're ready to order through Flute Center of New York. You're welcome.


1. Spring Song by Dr. Lauren Bernofsky

"If happy had a song, this would be it."

  • Flute and piano

  • Great for getting comfortable with sharp key signatures and key changes

  • Sounds energetic whether you play it up to tempo or under tempo

  • The melody stays mostly in the staff, with some high register notes

  • Slurred and smooth melodies while still being upbeat


2. Fisherman’s Song by Chen Yi

"The main melody is super pretty! I like that the high register stuff isn't crazy hard like it usually is in other pieces."

  • Flute and piano

  • Simple key signatures with two main melodies

  • Technical section with octave jumps

  • Based on a traditional Cantonese folk song

  • Covers the entire range of the flute


3. Legends by Dr. Valerie Coleman

"Each movement has its own personality, which is cool because playing long pieces can get boring or predictable. Plus, it was fun learning about the legends each movement was based on!"

  • 4 movements for flute and piano, each with distinct styles and characters

  • Each movement is about a page long

  • Great for performing in different key and time signatures

  • Approachable for motivated practice

  • Fun to study the inspiration behind each movement


4. Le vent a travers les ruines by Yuko Uebayashi

"I like that I can make this piece my own since it's just me playing. I also learned about how to tell a story through the music... the poem that goes along with it really helps, too."

  • Unaccompanied flute piece

  • Based on a poem, great for learning to perform a story

  • Both slow and technical sections

  • Challenging for playing precise rhythms and notes under long slurs

  • Helps students practice making independent musical decisions


Which solo is your favorite?

  • 0%Spring Song

  • 0%Fisherman's Song

  • 0%Legends

  • 0%Le vent a travers les ruines


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