Tag Archive for Musicians

Tarquinia Molza

by Penelope Whitworth Tarquinia Molza (1542-1617) Italian virtuosa singer who was a notable courtier, celebrated musician and acclaimed intellectual of her time.  In addition to performing, she was probably an instructor and advisor to the concerto delle donne of the court of Ferrara where she was a lady-in-waiting to the Duchess, Margherita Gonzaga-Este.[1] In 1589…


by Lindsay Smith Praxilla (mid 5th century BCE) was a poet from the Greek polis Sicyon[1], a city renowned as a haven for artists. She often performed in Athens{NOTE:Ian Plant, Praxilla, Mary Hays, Female Biography; or, Memoirs of Illustrious and Celebrated Women, of All Ages and Countries(1803) Chawton House Library Series: Women’s Memoirs, ed. Gina…

Elena Lucrezia Cornaro

Elena Cornaro Piscopia

  by Koren Whipp Elena Lucrezia Cornaro also Cornaro-Piscopia (1646-84), philosopher and the first known woman to earn a Doctor of Philosophy.  She was born in the Republic of Venice, the fifth daughter of Giovanni Battista Cornaro-Piscopia, Procurator of St. Mark’s, the second highest office only to the Doge, and Zanetta Giovanna Boni. Cornaro began…

Gaspara Stampa

by Alix Korn Gaspara Stampa was born in Padua in 1523 to her mother Cecelia and father Bartolomeo Stampa, who had been a wealthy jeweler. She had two siblings, Cassandra and Baldassare.  After the death of her father in 1530, the family moved to Venice. Stampa was afforded an excellent education at the hand of Fortunio…

Maria Rosa Coccia

by Marie Caruso Italian composer and teacher, Maria Rosa Coccia (1759-1833) was the first woman to achieve the qualification of Maestra di Capella (Chapel Master) of Rome.  What historians have most often remembered about her were not her accomplishments, but the controversy that developed over the publication of her extemporaneous entrance exam for the Accademia di S Cecilia. …

Tullia d’Aragona

by Elizabeth Pallitto Tullia d’Aragona (c.1510-1556) was an Italian courtesan, author, and philosopher in Venice.  Under her mother’s influence, Tullia had been initiated into the life of a courtesan when very young. She left us three books — her lyric Rime, her philosophical Dialogo, and her epic Il Meschino, and some urban legends. As an…


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