University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Music

Choral Studies

Distinguished Speakers Series

Candace Smith

Renaissance and Baroque Female Composers of the Italian Convents

Candace Smith is the founder of Concerto delle Dame (1978-89), specialist in music composed by women, and founder of Cappella Artemisia, dedicated to early music from Italian convents. She also publishes this repertoire under the name of Artemisia Editions. She will present a lecture on the female composers associated with the Italian convents in the late Renaissance and early Baroque.

Suggested Reading

Read: Craig Monson: Divas in the Convents: Praeludium

Listen: Cantabant sancti (on Cappella Artemisia “Canti nel chiostro” CD)

Bibliography and Discography

  • Kendrick, Robert: Celestial Sirens: Nuns and Their Music in Early Modern Milan (Clarendon, Oxford…1996)
  • Monson, Craig: Disembodied Voices: Music and Culture in an Early Modern Italian Convent  (UC Berkeley, 1996)
  • – – – – – Divas in the Convent: Nuns, Music, and Defiance in Seventeenth-Century, University of Chicago Press, 2012
  • Reardon, Colleen: Holy Concord within Sacred Walls: Nuns and Music in Siena, 1575-1700 (Oxford… 2001)
  • Stras, Laurie. Women and Music in 16th century Ferrara. Cambridge University Press, 2018.
  • Glixon, Jonathan. Mirrors of Heaven or Worldly Theaters? Venetian Nunneries and Their Music. Oxford University Press, 2017.
  • Bowers, Jane (ed.), Women Making Music: the Western art tradition, 1150-1950 (Urbana: U. of Ill. Press, 1986).


All recordings by:

  • Cappella Artemisia
  • Musica Secreta
  • Magnificat (Cozzolani)