Shining a light on piano music by women composers

En Pleine Lumière – Sandra Mogensen, piano

A multi-volume recording and concert project

Women such as Clara Schumann, Amy Beach and Cécile Chaminade are now recognised as a significant pianist-composers, who also enjoyed international performing careers, but in the course of her research, pianist Sandra Mogensen discovered many other women composer-pianists who were well-regarded, but whose names and music are hardly known today. These include Mélanie Bonis, Helen Hopekirk, Agathe Backer-Grøndahl, Luise Aldopha Le Beau, and Laura Netzel. The piano music of these composers was widely known and played during their lifetimes, but for much of the 20th century, their works were rarely played. Now, in the changing climate of classical music, with a greater emphasis on diversity, these once-forgotten composers are being given the recognition they deserve.

The music I have found is again incredibly beautiful….and all of it is new to me

Sandra Mogensen

Released in December 2019, the bicentenary year of Clara Schumann’s birth, the first volume of pianist Sandra Mogensen’s multi-CD and concert project, En Pleine Lumière (“in full light”), focuses on piano music by women composers born in the middle part of the nineteenth century (c.1840-1870). Each composer is represented by two short works and the entire project will have an international reach. Volume one includes composers from France (Chaminade and Bonis), the USA (Beach), Scotland (Hopekirk), Norway (Backer-Grøndahl and Lærum-Liebig), Sweden (Netzel and Aulin), and Germany (Le Beau and Menter). The subsequent two volumes will include music by women composers from Canada, Russia, Australia, Austria, Croatia, Germany, Latvia, Estonia and the Netherlands.

En Pleine Lumière will eventually comprise six albums, each focusing on a 30-year period – rather like a recital disc. En Pleine Lumière Volume 1 was recorded at Immanuelskirche in Wuppertal, Germany in June 2019, produced by an all-female team, and crowdfunded via Indiegogo. The subsequent volumes will be recorded with the same team and also supported by crowdfunding.

En Pleine Lumière is available on CD or digital download.


Canadian pianist Sandra Mogensen is equally at home in two worlds: performing as a solo pianist and co-performing with singers in recital. She has played in concert in both capacities in Canada, the United States, Denmark, Latvia, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria. Sandra is also well-known as a vocal coach and piano pedagogue

Meet the Artist interview with Sandra Mogensen

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