ARTICLE | 30, APRIL 2023
To celebrate International Guitar Month, we’re shining a spotlight on three amazing women composers renowned for writing for guitar.
Annette Kruisbrink (b. 1958) is an internationally renowned, award-winning classical guitarist and composer. Hailing from the Netherlands, Kruisbrink studied at Zwolle conservatory with Pieter van der Staak. Her music has earned her 1st prize for Sgraffito for chamber orchestra during The 7th International Congress on Women in Music in Utrecht, 2nd prize for Faon for solo guitar and 1st prize for Homenaje a Andrés Segovia for solo guitar in Fort de France, and 2nd prize for 10 Miniaturas for guitar quartet in the 2º Concorso Internazionale di Composizione per Chitarra Classica ‘Michele Pittaluga’ in Italy.
We’re featuring Kruisbrink’s ‘Sad Song’, part of her album Knock Before You Enter. This album was created with the goal of encouraging young or new guitarists to play classical guitar without having to revert to the standard repertoire that might not appeal to them. The collection was originally subtitled, ‘10 specials for you(th)’.
Emilia Giuliani-Guglielmi (1813-1850) was a guitarist and composer born in Vienna and educated in Italy at the nunnery, L’adorazione del Gesù, from 1821 to 1826. Giuliani-Guglielmi’s music was relatively unknown, except for her 6 Preludes until recently. Her work explored chromaticism and was often based around the operatic works of Bellini. Giuliani-Guglielmi’s opera inspired works was published by Ricordi and dubbed ‘Belliniana’ (a reference to her famous father’s Rossini based guitar music, ‘Rossiniana’).
“Emilia’s works confidently embraced dissonance, chromaticism, and other new techniques. For instance, Bellini’s music contained long sung notes, something very difficult for the guitar to emulate. Emilia created a tremolo-like technique to mimic the effect of these longer held notes.” – Classical Guitar Corner
Watch/listen to ‘6 Preludes, Op. 46’ by Emilia Giuliani-Guglielmi performed by Maya Loncar: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87pfj2NDYuU
Ida Presti (1924-1967) was a French classical guitarist and composer. Her youth was filled with music and she was considered to be a child prodigy, performing her first full length concert at the age of ten at the Salle Pleyel in Paris. She appeared in Maurice Cloche’s Le petite chose playing guitar at age fourteen. While most biographies of her document her performance career and astounding accomplishments during her childhood, she was also a relatively prolific composer of guitar music, writing approximately five pieces for solo guitar and four for guitar duo.
Presti is lauded as “”the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, and possibly of all time” – Alice Artzt.
Elizabeth Hardman is Soprano & PhD Researcher
Music PhD | OOC-DTP Studentship | “Confronting canonicity and promoting diversity: Gender and contemporary concert programming”
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
You can find her on Twitter @Lizzylikespie or on her website.