The life and work of Augusta Holmès

Hailed as a musical Marianne by none other than Saint-Saens, Augusta Holmès was courageous, principled, stood up to social injustice, and held her own in a profession dominated by men. Augusta Holmès (1847—1903) was a French composer. She had a large circle of artistic friends and admirers, including Liszt, Rossini, Saint-Saens, Cezar Franck, and even Richard Wagner. She composed large-scale orchestral and choral works, writing a piece for 1,200 performers for the centenary of the French Revolution (Ode triomphalei) premiered at the 1889 Universal Exhibition. The first recordings of Holmès’s symphonic music were made in 1994, but much of her catalogue remains undiscovered. Dr Anastasia Belina is a musicologist, writer, and presenter with a wide range of research interests and topics from Russian nineteenth-century music and Wagner to late 20th-century British opera.

 

 

 

Image courtesy of interviewee. February 17, 2019

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