Document Type

Thesis

Date of Degree

Summer 2015

Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)

Degree In

Music

First Advisor

Marian Wilson Kimber

Abstract

Because few women were permitted to join professional orchestras before World War II, women’s orchestras developed in major American cities, including Boston, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, during the interwar period. The Orchestrette Classique, a women’s chamber orchestra, performed in New York City between 1933 and 1944 under the direction of conductor and violinist Frédérique Petrides. Over the course of its tenure, the ensemble became known for its unusual concert programs, which often juxtaposed contemporary compositions with more traditional classical repertoire. Using primary source documents from the Frédérique Petrides Papers collection at the New York Public Library and articles from New York newspapers, this thesis presents the ways in which Petrides promoted the members of her ensemble as serious musicians, despite gender bias and the economic difficulties of the Depression. By cultivating working relationships with contemporary composers such as Henry Cowell, David Diamond, and Paul Creston, Petrides gave female musicians a role in the development of American classical music.

Public Abstract

Because few women were permitted to join professional orchestras before World War II, women’s orchestras developed in major American cities, including Boston, New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, during the interwar period. The Orchestrette Classique, a women’s chamber orchestra, performed in New York City between 1933 and 1944 under the direction of conductor and violinist Frédérique Petrides. Over the course of its tenure, the ensemble became known for its unusual concert programs, which often juxtaposed contemporary compositions with more traditional classical repertoire. Using primary source documents from the Frédérique Petrides Paperscollection at the New York Public Library and articles from New York newspapers, this thesis presents the ways in which Petrides promoted the members of her ensemble as serious musicians, despite gender bias and the economic difficulties of the Depression. By cultivating working relationships with contemporary composers such as Henry Cowell, David Diamond, and Paul Creston, Petrides gave female musicians a role in the development of American classical music.

Keywords

publicabstract, music, New York, orchestra, women

Pages

iv, 94 pages

Bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 90-94).

Copyright

Copyright 2015 Katherine Elizabeth Ramsey

Included in

Music Commons

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