Dr Leah Broad publishes biography of four forgotten female composers

Christ Church Junior Research Fellow Leah Broad is to publish a new book next month.

Quartet is a group biography of four women composers — Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell and Doreen Carwithen, all celebrities in their day.

Dr Leah Broad Dr Broad said: “From Smyth being the first woman to have an opera staged at the Met in New York and at Covent Garden in London, to Carwithen being one of the first British women to work as a film composer, they each achieved extraordinary things and led pioneering lives that have been almost forgotten today.

“This book puts them and their music back into the history of twentieth century music, coming out of the research that I’ve been doing as a JRF working on music and gender.”

Released to acclaim from critics including Sir Andrew Motion, Kate Mosse and Antonia Fraser, Quartet is available to preorder now.


Dr Broad will be taking part in a series of events throughout March associated with the book:

image of Quartet by Dr Leah Broad8 March, 12.15pm, Jacqueline du Pre Music Building Oxford
Works for Viola, Cello and Piano by Rebecca Clarke
Rosalind Ventris (viola), Laura van der Heijden (cello), Libby Burgess (piano), and Dr Leah Broad (pre-concert talk)

9 March, 7pm, St George’s Church Bloomsbury
Quartet: An Evening of Words and Music, with 97 Ensemble

11 March, 11am, Blackwell’s Oxford
Leah Broad 'Quartet'

16 March, 6pm, Wolfson College Oxford
Oxford International Song Festival, with singer Marta Fontanals-Simmons

19 March, 11am, Fairlight Hall Hastings
Song at Fairlight: Marta Fontanals-Simmons & Leah Broad (Marta Fontanals-Simmons (mezzo-soprano), Sholto Kynoch (piano) and Leah Broad (speaker)

28 March, 7.30pm, St Peter’s Church Ely
Leah Broad

31 March, 7.30pm, Drive Methodist Church Sevenoaks
(with pianist Samantha Ege)