In , she was named a Dame of the British Empire. She studied Brahmsian musical composition the romantic style of lyrical and classical music developed by the German composer Brahms and music theory at Leipzig Conservatory in Germany beginning in and her sophisticated music elicited rave reviews. In , she returned to London and developed talents in multiple areas of composition, culminating in an oeuvre that included orchestral pieces, choral arrangements, chamber music, and six operas.
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Sandscape Publications is happy to contribute information about Ethel Smyth to internet audiences. Read about this fascinating composer, writer, and political activist. The writings here include liberal quotations by Ethel Smyth and other writers of her time. In addition to writing many compositions , Ms. Smyth wrote 10 books that vividly record her experiences.
Today, we recognise Ethel Smyth. Feminist, radical, musician; Ethel Smyth was one of the most influential turn-of-the-century composers. She continued to fight for her rightful place as a respected composer. Born in in Kent, Ethel defied the demands of her father and left home for Germany in to study music at the Leipzig conservatoire. She was the first woman to have an opera produced at the Metropolitan Opera.
Dame Ethel Mary Smyth attained prominence as one of the most accomplished female composers in a male dominated environment, and as one of the main representatives of the suffragette movement. In Smyth entered the Leipzig Conservatory, staying for one year only after becoming disenchanted with the tuition and staff. Remaining in Leipzig, Smyth then took harmony and counterpoint lessons with Heinrich von Herzogenberg. Over the following decade Smyth lived and worked in several countries around Europe, gaining a breadth of experience that invested her compositions with a distinctly European character. Brewster — , who would become one of her closest friends and collaborators. In Smyth returned to England, making her debut as a composer of orchestral music with a Serenade in D at the Crystal Palace Concerts, while her Mass in D brought her wide public recognition. From to , Smyth focused much of her creative energies on composing a series of operas, which were performed with some success in Europe and North America — a considerable achievement for a female composer at that time.