This November, UF School of Music alumna Dr. Amy Zigler will showcase her most recent research at the “19th Century Programme Music” symposium in Lucca, Italy on Ethel Smyth’s music.
Zigler delves into the connection between biography, literature and music in the Sonata for Violin and Piano in A minor, Op.7 by Smyth. Zigler said she was intrigued by this British female composer,
“She [Smyth] personally knew Brahms, Tchaikovsky, and Virginia Woolf, and she had met Queen Victoria,” Zigler said.
Since materials on Smyth’s work are limited in the United States, Zigler had the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe in search of letters, diaries and manuscript scores to expand her research.
Her paper also sheds light on the relationship between Dante’s poetry and Smyth’s music while enlightening the audience on the recently identified link between Smyth and her librettist Henry Brewster. Zigler’s research on Brewster and Smyth’s partnership further spotlights his lasting impact on her music.
Zigler’s career now takes her to the School of Music at Salem College where she is presently acting as Assistant Professor of Music and Graduate Admissions Coordinator. Salem College, founded in 1772, is the oldest constantly running educational establishment for women in the United States. According to Zigler, the college has been offering courses in music since 1804.
“It is an honor to continue the tradition of furthering the musical education of young women,” she said.