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.

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About

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

Recordings

Elation: Works by Gideon, Jaffe, and Lindroth

(Miriam Gideon)

2014

Psalms of Joy and Sorrow

(Miriam Gideon and Ralph Shapey)

2001

Voices From Elysium: Copland, Crawford

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

1998

American - Jewish Art Songs

(Leonard Bernstein and Miriam Gideon)

1992

A Miriam Gideon Retrospective

(Miriam Gideon)

1988

Lucille Field sings Songs by American Women

(Ruth Crawford Seeger, Miriam Gideon and Florence Price)

1987

Gideon: Sonnets, Wing'd Hour, etc.

(Miriam Gideon)

1985

Gideon / Weisgall: Song Cycles

(Miriam Gideon and Hugo Weisgall)

1975

Books

Gendering Musical Modernism: The Music of Ruth Crawford, Marion Bauer, and Miriam Gideon

By Ellie M. Hisama

The Music Makers

By Aaron Copland

Includes first person chapters by American composers Aaron Copland, Milton Babbitt, Miriam Gideon, and Earle Brown, as well as American scholars and teachers, conductors, and performers.

Songs

Sheet Music

Miriam Gideon Sheet Music

Buy via American Composers Alliance

Related Information

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