Why is this important?
Leonora Duarte (1610–1678), a Jewish Converso living in Antwerp, was the only known woman to write music for the viol in the seventeenth-century, yet no complete recording of her work exists. Born to a prominent family of merchants and art collectors, Leonora received a superb musical education that included instruction on viol, harpsichord, and lute, as well as lessons in composition — but as both a Jew and a woman, she received no commissions from church or court. Her surviving work, seven Sinfonias for consort, not only fill an extraordinary gap in history, but are a testament to a formidable talent for composition. It's now up to us to bring these gorgeous works back to life — to give them the legs upon which to walk again.