Mary Ellen Kitchens M. A.
Mary Ellen Kitchens was born in 1959 in Houston/Texas. Very early on, she began taking piano and cello lessons. After completing high school in New York she studied at Yale University (USA) and spent an exchange year in Paris (École Normale de la Musique/Sorbonne). In 1980 she moved to Munich, where she attained her MA majoring in music science at the Ludwig Maximilian University. She took courses in conducting with Rodney Wynkoop (Yale University, Connecticut), Pierre Dervaux (Paris), Sergiù Celibidache (Munich) and Julius Kalmar (Vienna). From 1984 to 1991 Mary Ellen Kitchens directed the Haydn Orchestra in Munich, which was founded by her. Since 1991 she has led the Orchestra Society Kempten/Allgäu. She has been musical director of the Munich International Choral Society since 1986, and since its foundation in 2004 she has also led the Regenbogenchor in Munich. In 1991 she began working at the audio archive of the Bayerischer Rundfunk radio station, which she headed full-time from January 2004 to the beginning of 2015. Since April 2015 she has been responsible for leading the Inventory Management and Digitalization department at Bayerischer Rundfunk. From 1994 to 1998 she was the chair of musica femina münchen e.V., and she remains a member of mfm today. She has chaired the Internationaler Arbeitskreis Frau und Musik since 2013, and as a result is intensively involved with the activities of the Archiv Frau und Musik in Frankfurt/Main in a voluntary capacity. In 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017 she headed the Frauen Orchester Projekt (women’s orchestra project) in Berlin, and she is currently working with the planning team to prepare the next session (autumn 2022).
Heike Matthiesen is one of Germany’s most renowned guitarists and one of the few women guitarists on the worldwide concert scene. Born into an opera family in Braunschweig, she grew up in Berlin and in Neu-Isenburg near Offenbach. She received her first piano lesson in early childhood but switched to the guitar at 18, beginning her studies at the Frankfurt College of Music just one year later. After graduating, she became a master-class pupil of Pepe Romera and participated in numerous master classes at world-class level. During her studies she helped out at the Frankfurt Opera orchestra and made guest appearances at the opera houses in Wiesbaden, Darmstadt and Stuttgart. Since 1997 she has also been closely connected with the Villa Musica Mainz, consequently performing in many concerts in Rhineland Palatinate, both in various chamber-music ensembles and as a soloist. Today she is a freelance soloist and chamber musician, has released four solo CDs and gives concerts worldwide, for example in China, Japan, the USA, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Tajikistan, and Europe. Over the last several years she has become more intensely focused on the works of women composers. Her fourth album, Guitar Ladies, consists solely of works by women and has been highly praised in the specialized press. She has been a member of the Archiv Frau und Musik for many years, is now the repertoire specialist for guitar and has been an active board member since October. “For me, playing music by women composers is a matter of the heart. I am overcome again and again when I see how much wonderful music there is to discover!”
Dr. Vera Lasch
Sociologist at the Institute of Economics at the University of Kassel and elsewhere. Former managing director of KulturNetz Kassel e. V.
Dr. Vivienne Olive
Vivienne Olive was born in London in 1950. She received piano and music theory lessons from an early age and studied cembalo and organ at Trinity College of Music in London. In 1968 she continued her music studies at the University of York/England (B.A.). She subsequently specialized in composition, first with Bernard Rands (Y ork), then with Franco Donatoni (Milan), Roman Haubenstock-Ramati (Vienna) and Klaus Huber (Freiburg). In 1975 she earned her doctorate in composition (University of York). In Freiburg, she continued her cembalo studies with Stanislav Heller. She won various prizes and awards. Since 1979 she has lived in Germany, where she works as a professor of music theory at the Nuremberg College of Music. From 1993 to 1995 she lived in Australia, where she not only worked as a lecturer at the James Cook University/North Queensland, but also initiated and directed the music festival Contemposfest Townsvill 94. In 2004 she was the Composer in Residence in Bundanon/New South Wales in Australia. Since 2014 she has directed the Brixworth Music Festival in the United Kingdom.
Mareike Hilbrig, born in 1974, is a piano teacher and choir director in Marburg. In addition to teaching piano, since 2007 she has directed the Protestant church choir in Marburg-Cappel, which she founded and which connects people across denominational lines, and since 2015 the Frauenkammerchor Marburg, which in recent years has focused on music by women composers. She also works with project ensembles (e.g. Wohin? podcast).
In her work Mareike Hilbrig combines music with pedagogy, theology and feminism. These thematic fields shape both the selection of literature and the orientation of her ensembles. Mareike Hilbrig draws on a varied professional background: after an early musical socialization on piano and cello as well as in choir and chamber music, her path first led via studies in theology and pedagogy to a professional activity in adult education. During a stay in India in 2005/06, she studied piano with Timothy Marthand in Hyderabad and followed up with studies in instrumental pedagogy in Mainz, majoring in piano with Uwe Zeutzheim. Her most formative choral conducting teachers are Wolfgang Schäfer, Ronald Pelger and Susanne Rohn.
The Archiv Frau und Musik is an important point of reference for her: as a place for networking and cooperation as well as a treasure trove of literature. Since the fall of 2021, she has been active on the extended board of the archive and is primarily involved in the area of choral music.
Elisabeth Treydte is a musicologist; she researches and teaches at the University of Music and Theater Hamburg and as a staff member at the University of Siegen. Her research interests lie in the field of musicological gender research, contemporary music and the sociology of knowledge; a further focus is the mediation work at non-university institutions on the topic of women and music – see the digital educational package Women Composers in the School Classroom.
Uta Walther completed her pianistic education at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar and at the Mozarteum Salzburg with Alfons Kontarsky (degree: Mag. Art.). She attended international master classes and received prizes at several competitions. As a soloist, lied accompanist and chamber musician she gives concerts at home and abroad and makes radio and CD recordings. Her repertoire includes works of all stylistic periods, with special attention to compositions of the 20th and 21st centuries. She has premiered several works, some of which are dedicated to her.
Uta Walther is a lecturer for piano at the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg as well as a piano teacher at the music branch of the Johann-Pachelbel-Realschule Nuremberg. She teaches practical choral piano playing at choral conducting courses of the Fränkischer Sängerbund, and has been writing a column about women composers and their choral works for the members’ magazine in/takt since March 2021. She also wrote the essays on the piano music of Helmut Bieler and on the keyboard works of Vivienne Olive for the monograph series Composers in Bavaria of the BTKV. In 2015, Uta Walther was a jury member for the Composer in Residence selection of the IAK Frau und Musik. In November 2021 she was elected to the extended board of the IAK Frau und Musik.