Kiri Heel

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Kiri Heel
Graduate Dissertation Fellow 2009-10, Musicology

Kiri HeelĀ is working on a doctoral dissertation project that situates the life, career, and reception of twentieth-century French composer Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983) amid broader social contexts. In particular, Kiri examines how Tailleferre and her works functioned within specific musical communities. Focusing on the male-dominated musical world of Paris of the 1910s and 1920s, she examines how Tailleferre negotiated between her gender, personal life, and career during a time when the "new woman" faced challenges for eschewing her traditional domestic role in favor of professional pursuits. She also considers a more recent surge in interest for Tailleferre's works since the 1970s, epitomized by performances of Tailleferre's music by the (Bay Area) Women's Philharmonic (1981-2004), and indicative of a growing interest in the music of women composers in general. More broadly, this dissertation project serves as a case study to illuminate the changing circumstances of female composers over the course of the twentieth century. Kiri spent time researching in Paris during the summer of 2008 and will likely return in 2009. She is also currently a Ric Weiland Graduate Fellow.