Ethel Smythe (1858–1944), United Kingdom
British composer and leading member of the women’s suffrage movement. Born and raised in London, she studied in Leipzig for teachers including Carl Reinecke, where she also met Dvořák, Grieg, and Tchaikovsky. However, she was dissatisfied with the standard of teaching in Leipzig and left the city, taking up private studies with Herzogenberg, through whom she met Clara Schumann and Brahms. Upon her return to England in 1890 her Serenade in D was performed at the Crystal Palace. The following year her Mass in D was premiered in Albert Hall (it is written in the same style as Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem). These works established Smythe as the most outstanding woman composer of her time.
Smythe’s compositional output includes chamber and choral works as well as symphonies and operas (the best-known is The Wreckers of 1906).