Miriam Gideon

Miriam Gideon's compositions are freely atonal, in a style sometimes referred to as "atonal expressionism," but still lyrical and full of dramatic tension. Gideon's songs also display a fascination with language. She often sets a poem in its original language and in translation in the same song.

Print This Page


Born in Colorado, Gideon’s family moved to Chicago and then New York City, where she was based as a composer during the rest of her life. She taught at several institutions there, including Manhattan School of Music and the Jewish Theological Seminary.

Gideon’s Jewish faith was very important to her art, and she often set Hebrew texts or wrote music for for the Jewish community. She was the first woman to receive a commission for a complete synagogue service: Sacred Service (For Sabbath Morning) in 1970.

Gideon sought to resist the labels of “woman” and “Jewish” composer. In an interview on Sept. 27, 1981 with the Baltimore Sun, Gideon said “For me to talk about the fact that women have been discriminated against is unnecessary. They are and have been. But really, I didn’t even know I was a woman composer until the [feminist] movement in the 1960s.”

–Christie Finn

Related Information



Elation: Works by Gideon, Jaffe, and Lindroth

(Miriam Gideon)


Psalms of Joy and Sorrow

(Miriam Gideon and Ralph Shapey)


Voices From Elysium: Copland, Crawford

(Aaron Copland, Ruth Crawford Seeger, Miriam Gideon and Louise Talma)


American - Jewish Art Songs

(Leonard Bernstein and Miriam Gideon)


A Miriam Gideon Retrospective

(Miriam Gideon)


Lucille Field sings Songs by American Women

(Ruth Crawford Seeger, Miriam Gideon and Florence Price)


Gideon: Sonnets, Wing'd Hour, etc.

(Miriam Gideon)


Gideon / Weisgall: Song Cycles

(Miriam Gideon and Hugo Weisgall)



Sheet Music

Miriam Gideon Sheet Music

Buy via American Composers Alliance

Support us and help us grow

Dear friends, Thank you for helping us build a comprehensive online archive of American song. Your gift is greatly appreciated.