VIDEO PODCAST: Women Composers - Our special hour-long illustrated feature on women composers includes contributions from Diana Ambache, Gail Wein, Hilary Tann, Natalie Artemas-Polak and Victoria Bond.
American-born Austrian composer, viola player and pianist Nancy Van de Vate was born Nancy Jean Hayes in Plainfield, New Jersey on 30 December 1930. She studied at the Eastman School of Music, Wellesley College, Mississippi University, Florida State University, Dartmouth College and .
She taught at several American universities and directed the Southeastern Composers League. She lived and taught in Hawaii from 1975. Also in 1975 she founded the organisation which would later become the International League of Women Composers, and which later merged into the International Alliance for Women in Music.
She developed an interest in Asian music and lived in Indonesia from 1982 until 1985. She moved in 1985 with her second husband Clyde A Smith to Vienna, where they founded the CD label Vienna Modern Masters to promote new orchestral music. She was director of the company after her husband's death. She also taught at Vienna's Institute for European Studies and was composer-in-residence there.
Her output includes seven operas, orchestral works including concertos, choral and chamber music. Several works received awards. Many have been recorded by her own company.
Nancy Van de Vate, who also used the pseudonyms Helen Huntley and William Huntley, died in Vienna on 29 July 2023, aged ninety-two.