About Diane Peacock Jezic
Diane Peacock Jezic, a pianist and music historian, held a doctorate in musical art and taught music literature at Towson University. Ms. Jezic was an innovative musician and teacher whose pioneering spirit gave others the knowledge and confidence to explore the lost tradition of women composers in music history. The narrative documentation in her premier work, Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found, has inspired many women and men to bring the artist, in each of us, to its fullest expression, creatively and courageously.
“A pianist, teacher, musicologist, mother and feminist, Diane understood that the powerful creativity latent in all people, specifically in women, is too often thwarted by barriers of race, ethnicity, and class, as well as gender. She also understood that questions she raised in the classroom and in her writing about the history of creative women [were] often complex. ‘How… might we place women composers of the past alongside their better-known male colleagues in the musical mainstream?’ ‘How can we account for women’s (often different) experiences, including social, cultural, economic, and educational conditions, that have contributed to the development of creative work?’ ‘How do we value and measure women’s work?’ ‘Can we speak of a ‘feminine’ aesthetic in music?’”
“Now, of course, women can join professional orchestras, and conduct them, and hear them play women’s compositions, if too few and too infrequently. Recordings, editions, and commissions of women’s music have multiplied; women music teachers have gained academic jobs; a scholarly literature of women’s music has sprouted; feminist theories and critical perspectives have begun to change the ways we think about music, gender, sexuality, and creativity. Women composers have become more visible, more accomplished, and more numerous.”… “Yet their survival is not guaranteed. So many of our musical forbearers… have disappeared from music history and from memory. The work of the happy few [women of uncommon talent and determination], has survived because of two contributing factors: the availability to them of essential social and economic conditions to sustain creative work; and, their own courage and will in overcoming psychological barriers to creative expression.”
--Elizabeth Wood, musicologist and writer, Sarah Lawrence College, NH
Diane Jezic urged her students and colleagues to integrate music by women into their curriculums and texts that, consistently or haphazardly, had left women out. She influenced interdisciplinary programs of women’s studies to include music among the arts and accomplishments of women’s history and culture. She urged students to take the opportunity to meet contemporary/modern musicians whose lives and works are exemplary models, not merely symbols, of women’s contributions, both to musical traditions, and also, to the ongoing process of cultural change.
The Jezic Ensemble (including both our members and guest soloists), salutes the legacy of Diane Peacock Jezic. We strive to celebrate women of uncommon talent and determination: to enhance their survival in musical history, by recruiting positive resources/energy to sustain their creative works; and, by exemplifying their courage and assertiveness in overcoming psychological barriers to creative expression. Each woman has her own story about music and her own style of expression. We come together to offer the audience this gift of performance--- moments of emotion, expression and harmony--- to convey our intense feelings of appreciation for so many women artists, who have given us an incredible musical heritage.