Presenting a new anthology of piano works by women composers, 22 Nocturnes for Chopin released by EVC Music in August 2023.

Compositions were written by a group which includes well-known women composers as well as less established names.

The launch, where Rose McLachlan performed a selection from the book, took place in Steinway Hall in London on 18 September, Monday at 1.30 PM.

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Meet the composers

Agnieszka Lasko, Poland
Nocturne
Autumn
C# minor

  • Recorded by composer

Polish pianist, composer and educator Agnieszka Lasko wrote the best-selling Polish piano method First Class Piano. She has many prize-winning pupils and presents her teaching method at conferences and workshops. 

Agnieszka says: "The autumnal mood of this piece brings a moment of contemplation of nature's beauty. It is also an opportunity to stop and delve into one's deepest emotions. Above all, however, it was conceived as a transition from children's literature towards the greatest Nocturnes composed by Fryderyk Chopin."

Nitzan Vardi, Israel
Nocturne
As They Come & Go
E minor

  • Recorded by composer

Nitzan Vardi is a multi-disciplinary composer and pianist. She has been writing pieces using both electronics and live instruments while composing for screen, dance, and VR. In addition, Nitzan is also performing live with an ensemble under her leadership in Israel. Her songs are broadcasted on Israel’s popular radio stations.

Bitzan says: "The Nocturne As They Come and Go, was composed while analyzing Chopin’s musical approach, trying to catch its essence. The light chromaticism both in melody and harmony intertwined with an overall combination of simplicity and complexity is what gives Chopin his uniqueness, which I tried to preserve in this Nocturne."

Alanna Crouch, UK
Nocturne
for Chopin

Db major

  • Recorded by composer

Alanna Crouch is a 16-year-old British pianist and composer of film scores, contemporary and electronic music. She was the youngest to attain DipABRSM in Performance, Grade 8 Piano, and Grade 5 Jazz (ABRSM). Alanna has performed at Carnegie Hall, Royal Albert Hall, and Steinway Hall UK, among other venues.

She says: "I wrote this Nocturne trying to accommodate Chopin's sound to my own style. I imagined someone looking at the stars lying on a boat out on a lake. There may be bumps as it rocks from side to side and some noises are heard from the forest surrounding, but serenity prevails."

Dianna Neufeld, Canada
Nocturne
For a Winters Night
E minor

  • Recorded by composer

Dianna Neufeld has a Master’s in Music from the Brandon University, specializing in Performance and Literature as a Collaborative Pianist. She is a private piano teacher and composer who also enjoys participating at music festivals, encouraging creativity, and composition for all ages.

Dianna notes: "Picture a dreamy winter scene, the kind where snowflakes are falling slowly to the ground, creating a sparkly white dusting. Winter can be a long, dark, and cold season on the Canadian Prairies, but we find beauty in how the snow covers the ground making it pure and perfect."

Marlowe Carruth, USA
Nocturne
Pregando
F# minor

  • Recorded by composer

A North Carolina native, Marlowe received her Bachelor of Music degree in both Piano Performance and Music Education from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. In addition to decades of playing and singing church music, as well as teaching piano, Marlowe more recently turned her attention to composing. Her compositions can be heard on most streaming platforms around the world.  

Marlowe says: "A few years ago, when our local news reported that a larger number of troops were being mobilised, I immediately went to the piano to express my feelings. Pregando, Italian for earnest prayer, was born at that moment! It is my favourite of all my compositions to play. I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I do! "

Wendy Edwards Beardall-Norton, Canada
Nocturne 
for Lora, F major

  • Recorded by composer

The Canadian composer Wendy Edwards Beardall-Norton has published many books of piano music, several with her husband, the composer Christopher Norton. She has also co-authored ten books of songs from the Micromusicals, for use in vocal examinations and festivals, as well as melodies for John Wesley hymns which have been released as a songbook, Eternal Depth.

Wendy notes: "I write to express myself, drawing on many influences, from the world of dance to classical music to popular music. I have an autobiographical element in my writing, but I like to draw inspiration from everyday life."

 

Jennifer Bowman, USA
Nocturne
for Chopin
Eb major

  • Recorded by composer

Jennifer (Walsh) Bowman is an active educator, collaborator and music creator who was trained at The Juilliard School. 80 Days Publishing released her first book of piano pieces, Modern Mosaics in 2021. She has recorded several solo piano albums and is a versatile composer for film and TV. More on www.jenniferbowmanmusic.com

Jennifer says: "I have loved and played the music of Chopin my whole life. I have also played with singers since a very young age—with many years spent performing operas and musicals. Nocturne in E-flat major was influenced by both of these experiences."

Heather Hammond, UK
Nocturne Thinking of Frédéric 
C minor

  • Audio generated by software

Heather Hammond is an award-winning educational composer of piano and woodwind music. She studied jazz and light music at Leeds College of Music. She also teaches piano and is now based in York, UK. Many of Heather’s pieces have been chosen for inclusion in exam syllabuses and music festival performances worldwide. www.Heather-Hammond.co.uk

Heather’s Nocturne Thinking Of Frédéric was inspired by Chopin’s Nocturnes generally but more specifically No.13 in C minor. Heather says: "I wanted to create a piece that would capture the essence of a Chopin's Nocturne, yet I just couldn’t resist straying off into a more jazz-influenced 5/4 middle section."

 

Caroline Tyler, UK
Nocturne 
for Chopin
B minor

  • Recorded by composer

Pianist-composer Caroline Tyler studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She now enjoys varied professional roles in her musical life encompassing performing, composing and education. Caroline creates music for her own solo piano performances, for educational use, and records dedication pieces for her musical gift service, Composify.

Caroline notes: "The style of my Nocturne is influenced by the composers’ general experience of various Chopin and John Field nocturnes as a performing soloist, with the techniques and structures adapted for an educational context, It began life as a recorded improvisation, fittingly, late one night. "

June Armstrong, UK
Nocturne
Sweet Sorrow
Bb minor

  • Recorded by the composer

June Armstrong is a piano teacher and composer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She specialises in writing piano music specifically designed as teaching material, which focusses on atmospheric playing, the engagement of the imagination and the facilitation of high levels of interpretation.

June writes: "Sweet Sorrow is a highly emotionally charged composition, embracing a range of feelings from heartbreak and longing to hope. The harmony is derived from Chopin’s Nocturne in B-flat minor, although it is treated slightly differently. Two motifs pervade the piece - the first, the notes from the opening bar, and the second, the con forza bars 55 and 56."

Helen Walker, UK
Nocturne
Like the Night
E minor

  • Recorded by composer

Helen is an internationally award-winning composer who writes across genres. She’s had extensive airplay worldwide. Her music has been featured by BBC Radio 3, Classical Guitar Magazine & Sky TV. Many artists, including Baron Fenwick, Interchange, Jon Gjylaci, Atonal Ensemble and Kathryn Tickell & The Side, have played it.

Helen says: "I’m always reticent to put into words my thoughts on my compositions as I feel music should speak for itself - hopefully, it expresses more than language can convey. Inspiration came from the opportunity to compose a nocturne for this anthology, the title from ‘She Walks in Beauty’ by Lord Byron."

Victoria Proudler, UK 
Nocturne
Triste
A minor

  • Recorded by composer

Victoria Proudler trained in piano at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is a well-known pianist, educator, examiner and composer. She is the author of the popular EVC Piano Grades are Go! series and many of her compositions have been published by Trinity College London as examination pieces.

Victoria said: Nocturne Triste was inspired by Chopin's Nocturnes and also by Bellini's Bel Canto Arias which inspired Chopin himself.  The piece was written for, and is dedicated to, my father, who passed on to me his lifelong love of Chopin.  The piece was completed a week after his unexpected death.

 

 

Lucy Hackett, UK
Nocturne
The Moth
G minor

  • Recorded by composer

Lucy Hackett is a composer, musician and educator based on the South West coast of the UK. With an MA in Media Composition (2023), Lucy has written music for projects internationally and for various visual mediums. As a multi-instrumentalist and music producer, Lucy's approach to composition synthesises live acoustic performance and music technology.

Lucy writes: "A moth, primarily a nocturnal creature, is often found in the darkest places. Yet, it is drawn to the light. Inspired by the hypothesis of the creature's celestial navigation, the melodic and harmonic progression of the music gives us the feeling of shifting through the darkness to the light and back again.”

 

Caroline Wright, UK
Nocturne
Reflections
D minor

  • Recorded by composer

Caroline Wright is a musician and scientist, with an MMus in composition and an LTCL in piano performance. She has been playing piano and writing music since she was a small child. Her compositions have a diverse range of influences, from classical and contemporary to blues and jazz, film and folk, dance and electronica. 

Caroline notes that: "Reflections was inspired by Chopin's Nocturne No.14 in F-sharp minor, from which it takes its opening rhythm. The piece depicts an eerie night-time scene on the moors, with mist swirling around the trees and moonlight reflecting off the ripples in a lake."

Stephenie Leung, UK 
Nocturne
La ballerine solitaire
Eb minor

  • Recorded by composer

Since graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2011 with a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance, Stephenie has been teaching the piano and performing in concerts within the UK both as soloist and piano accompanist. The Nocturne is her first engagement as a composer.

Stephenie says: "Inspired by one of Chopin's most popular pieces, Nocturne in E-flat major, Op.9 No.2, the piece depicts a lonely ballerina dancing alone in the dark (Section A in E-flat minor). With each twirl and each turn, her perseverance allowed her to overcome her confusions and frustrations (Section B in the dominant key), where she eventually finds light and hope at the end of the tunnel (Coda in E-flat major)."

 

Katie Jenkins, Wales, UK
Nocturne
Cerddoriaeth i Bronwyn
.

  • Recorded by Sae Yoon Chon 

Katie Jenkins is a multi award-winning Welsh composer and entrepreneur now based in New York City. Her work includes commissions from the New York Choreographic Institute, (the New York City Ballet); New York Fashion Week; films and festivals. She is a graduate of the Juilliard School where she held the Henry Mancini Fellowship.

Katie said: "My Nocturne is inspired by Bronwyn, the main character in the Richard Llewellyn novel How Green is my Valley, set in Victorian South Wales. Despite her boundless potential, she follows the traditional pathway for women. Whilst she tries to be content with this, the audience see a glimmer of the sadness she feels as her future is taken away from her."

Charlotte Butler, UK
Nocturne
Moonlight on the Waves
C# minor

Charlotte is a pianist and composer from North East England, specialising in atmospheric solo piano music and educational music. Her debut album Illuminated Keys was released in 2020, and her music has featured in the Atmospherica composer concert series, Steve Luck’s Peaceful Piano series, and on NTS Radio.

Charlotte motes: "Moonlight on the Waves takes inspiration from Chopin’s Nocturnes No.19 and 20 and the coast at night. Stylistically, it combines elements of Romanticism with contemporary piano music. The piece evokes an image of a calm sea that gradually becomes more tumultuous before returning to its tranquil state once again."

Charlotte Botterill, UK
Nocturne
Waves collide with the precipice, F minor

  • Audio created by software

Charlotte Botterill is a composer of contemporary music. Her work combines elements of jazz with 20th century classical music, and often features an ambiguous tonal centre. Her compositions conjure an atmosphere, or capture a fleeting moment, while portraying the evolving and uncertain nature of life.

Charlotte says: "Inspired by sitting on a cliff edge at Lulworth Cove, this Nocturne aims to bridge the gap between Chopin composing in the 1800s, and myself composing today. It begins in a Chopinistic style, gradually transitioning into my own voice and a more contemporary idiom."

 

Nicole DiPaolo, USA
Nocturne
for Chopin
G# minor

  • Recorded by composer
Nicole DiPaolo is a US-based collaborative pianist, composer, improviser, and teacher whose works are performed and acclaimed worldwide. Her Venturing Beyond collection features 20 early intermediate pieces in unusual keys, and she recently completed Vignettes, 5 late-intermediate Ravel-preparatory pieces. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Indiana University.
 
Nicole noted: "The name "Nocturne" is fitting here, because the A section's opening actually came to me in a dream in 2012. The coda heightens the drama and I encourage dramatizing the "opera singer's high note" in m. 51—imagining this whole piece as a bel canto aria will be helpful".

Olga Berman, Ukraine
Nocturne
Elegy
Db major

  • Recorded by composer

The 18-year-old Ukrainian composer Olga Berman never imagined that she would have to flee her beloved country to escape the war. Olga now lives in Chicago and believes music helps her cope with her newfound reality. She is studying at the Odesa Music Academy in Ukraine and the DePaul School of Music (USA), majoring in Composition.

Olga's Nocturne Elegy is inspired by Chopin’s Nocturne No.8 in D-flat major. The composer notes, that, “It implies the inner melancholy of my recent displacement yet still stays delicate, feminine and airy."

Nancy Litten, UK
Nocturne
Fred & Bertie’s Night-Time Stroll, F minor

  • Audio created by software

Nancy won an open scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music at age 16, winning prizes while there. She is also a violinist and singer, adjudicator, teacher, and ABRSM examiner. She does much composing and arranging, and has written books for piano, piano accompanists, electronic keyboard, violin, string trios, singers, and choirs.

Fred and Bertie's Night-Time Stroll' imagines Frédéric Chopin and Bertie Wooster (the fictional character in P G Wodehouse's 'Jeeves' stories) taking a nocturnal walk together. Based on the form and harmonies of the F minor Nocturne op 55 no 1, it is infused with 1920s jazz, including the stomping percussion and strumming banjos/ukuleles.

 

Zoe Rahman, UK
Nocturne
for Chopin
F major

  • Audio generated by software

The award-winning British Bengali pianist and composer Zoe Rahman has a style which is deeply rooted in jazz yet reflects her classical background. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music, Oxford and Berklee College of Music, Boston and has appeared in many broadcasts and festivals. As a composer, she’s written in many styles and appears on the ABRSM syllabus.

Zoe writes: "I’ve always loved the emotional depth and improvisational nature of Chopin’s writing in his Nocturnes and I’ve tried to capture this in my composition, drawing on my love of jazz to inspire me. I was thinking in particular about my wonderful piano teacher Antonietta Notariello while writing this piece, as I loved studying the Nocturnes with her."