Margaret Ruthven Lang

American composer Margaret Ruthven Lang was born in Boston, Massachusetts on 27 November 1867. Her father was the well-connected composer, conductor and keyboard player Benjamin Johnson Lang. She took lessons in harmony, counterpoint and orchestration in Boston then, aged nineteen, went with her mother, Frances Lang, an amateur singer, to Munich to study privately with Ludwig Abel, Franz Drechsler and Victor Gluth. Back in Boston, she studied orchestration and composition with George Chadwick.

Margaret Lang wrote more than two hundred songs, plus orchestral compositions and works for voice and orchestra. Her Dramatic Overture was the first composition by a woman to be performed by a major US orchestra.

She stopped composing in 1919, but lived until 29 May 1972, aged 104, also making history as the longest consecutive subscriber to the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

She destroyed many of her compositions, but some are still available in modern editions, including many of her songs.

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A selection of articles about Margaret Ruthven Lang

Profile. A Dramatic Entrance - Matt Spangler and Lucy Mauro shine a light on an American classical pioneer