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Composers Datebook®

with host John Birge

Thursday, January 7

Monserrate Ferrer Otero

Synopsis

A remarkable shift of focus in music history occurred in the latter part of the 20th Century when performers and musicologists began turning their attention to neglected works by women composers of the past and present. Composers like Hildegard von Bingen, Clara Schumann, Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke, and Florence Price began to receive the attention they deserved.

In the 21st century, much work remains to be done on this front, however.

Take the case of Monserrate Ferrer Otero, also known as Monsita Ferrer, born in San Juan on this date in 1885. She began playing the piano at an early age, and later pursued composition studies in New York. She was one of Puerto Rico’s first professional woman composers and in 1956 served as an advisor in the planning of their Conservatory of Music. Although enjoying success during her lifetime, only a handful of her works are still performed today. This slow waltz, titled "Bajo el Oro del Crepúsculo” (or, “Under the Gold of Twilight”) was dedicated to fellow travelers aboard the luxury liner Victoria Luisa.

A string quartet and most of her other vocal and piano works remain unpublished long after Monserrate Ferrer Otero‘s death in 1966.

Music Played in Today's Program

Monserrate Ferrer Otero (1885 – 1966) Bajo el Oro del Crepúsculo (Vals lento) Kimberly Davis, p. from “La Ondina: Una Colección de Música Puertorriqueña para Piano” (digital album on Amazon, iTunes, etc.)

Additional Information

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