Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World

Junior Research Fellow at Christ Church, Music Faculty member and alumna Dr Leah Broad (Christ Church, 2010) will soon publish her first book Quartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World. The work is a radical feminist history of four "trailblazing" women composers: Ethel Smyth (b.1858), Rebecca Clarke (b.1886), Dorothy Howell (b.1898) and Doreen Carwithen (b.1922). Leah’s group biography resurrects these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, and celebrating their musical masterpieces.

Dr Leah Broad is an historical musicologist who teaches music history, music analysis, and musical thought and scholarship at the Faculty of Music. Currently, her research is focused on women composers in twentieth century Britain, in particular Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Dorothy Howell, and Doreen Carwithen. The project establishes their relative significance in their lifetimes, explores how this changes our narratives about British music of this period, and looks at how their music has been received since their death. She was a BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinker and winner of the 2015 Observer/Anthony Burgess Prize for Arts Journalism.

Quartet is available for pre-order, please visit Leah's Linktree for more details. The book has been featured in the Sunday Times, on the QI podcast No Such Thing as a Fish, and was selected as a book to look out for in 2023 by both the Observer and the ScotsmanHear Dr Leah Broad discuss the works of Rebecca Clarke in our International Women's Day lunchtime concert. She will also be introducing the book in London on 9th March, Blackwell’s Oxford on the 11th March, Wolfson College Oxford on 16th March, Fairlight Hall in Sussex on 19th March, Topping & Company Booksellers in Ely on 28th March, and Sevenoaks Bookshop on 31st March.

Image © Monika Tomiczek.