Articles and Chapters on the Composer and Feature Interviews in Recorded Media (selected)

Step by Step, Stage by Stage: The Music of Jusith Lang Zaimont
Interview by David DeBoor Canfield
Feature interview in FANFARE magazine, September/October 2011 issue

A Conversation with Judith Lang Zaimont
by Joe Brumbeloe

In "Continuo", journal of AGO local. Read it here.

The Arts are Alive and Living in Maricopa (profile of six resident artists)
Spring 2010 issue of magazine , pps 38-46
The article is available here in pdf format.

Classic Spotlight: Interview with the Composer
by Randy Anderson of Texas Public Radio

Broadcase September 14, 2006
Interview available as mp3

The World is Music: Feature Article on Judith Lane Zaimont
July/August 2007 issue of
The article is available here in pdf format.

On the Mic: Interview with the Judith Lane Zaimont
Jabex Press interviews Judith Lane Zaimont, hosted by Quin Matthews. It is made available as a podcast.
The podcast is available here

Judith Lang Zaimont     1.5-hour podcast : Noizepunk and Das Krooner, hosts

Composer interview,  includes  performances of Growler,  Elegy for Strings, Wizards,   ‘Bubble-Up’  Rag --   provocative dialogue, and lots of laughing. 
Initial broadcast NYC, April 2007.  Also available on the Internet.

Introduction to the set of 12 preludes, reprint the score of “June”.
      Piano Today,  June 2007.

A CALENDAR SET  Launch – interview with Judith Lang Zaimont.
Half-hour podcast.  Produced by Jabez Press (TX). 
Discussion with the winner of the 2005 American Composers Invitational competition about her prize-winning work, upon the occasion of its international publication by Jabez Press.

Initial broadcast nationally  April  2007.  Also available on the Internet.

Doctoral papers on Zaimont works, current and recent

“The Role of the Piano in Selected Chamber Works of Judith Lang Zaimont”
        -- Jennifer Muñiz   (Manhattan School of Music,  2004) Electronic

“The Compositional Style of  Judith Lang Zaimont as found in Nattens Monolog (Night Soliloquy),  scena for Soprano and Piano with text by Dag Hammarskjold”
        -- Joo Wun Jun  (Louisiana State University,  2005)
Posted on Internet at :

Influence versus innovation: A study on the influence of selected composers on "Jupiter’s Moons" and "WIZARDS: Three Magic Masters" by Judith Lang Zaimont.

        – J. M. Pierce  (Arizona State University,  2010)

Zaimont’s approach to the Piano – music for differing technical levels:
        Jupiter’s Moons and In My Lunchbox.
-- Rebecca Pennington  (University of Kansas,  2009)

“Veriditas: Enlivened Creativity in selected works of Judith Zaimont,         Libby Larsen and Juliana Hall”.        Music for voice.
         -- Sharon Johnson  (University of Minnesota,  2009)

Zaimont’s Piano Music: Impronta Digitale and Jupiter’s Moons.
-- Jonathan Tauscheck  (University of Iowa,  in progress)

A Woman of Valor                              November 2005
         The Milken Archive interviews composer Judith Lang Zaimont
         about her life, her family and her music
        (read full text here)

Electronic Dialogues/1" -- SEQUENZA/21: The Contemporary Classical Music Weekly. April 2001.
An interview with the composer. (read full text here)

Gann, Kyle. "American Composer Profile -- Judith Lang Zaimont". Chamber Music magazine (Chamber Music America), January/February 2004.
Kyle Gann's appreciation of Zaimont's music describes her music as "subtle, vigorous ... elegantly professional [and] deeply felt" and the range in her works as "capable of thorny abstraction, but also of light atmosphere and humor." He concludes that "in some ineffable way, they all sound like her, and all very musical."

(read full text here)

Duffie, Bruce. “Interview with Judith Lang Zaimont”. (1-hour broadcast). WNUR (Chicago). September 27, 2004.

Anderson, Randy. “Piano music of Judith Lang Zaimont”. 1-hour broadcast. Texas Public Radio (San Antonio). January 2004.

Rico, Lauren. “Instrumental Women: Comparing Notes”. Minnesota Public Radio for National Public Radio. March-April 2004.
Two-hour program featuring music by and interviews with Judith Lang Zaimont. (Zaimont’s “The May-fly” also used as title music for the entire three-volume series, broadcast 2002, 2003, 2004.)

Wendt, Stephanie. Interview with the composer. Clavier (April 2003).

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. S.v. "Zaimont, Judith Lang". by A.J. Randall. (London and New York: Macmillan Press, 2001).

Reffkin, David. "The Ragtime Machine -- Interview with Judith L. Zaimont". The Mississippi Rag, December 2001
"Zaimont is sensitive and articulate, and her descriptions of the composing process will answer some questions which may lurk in the reader's mind about how a ragtime piece is created, and how this compares with other forms of musical creation. Here you will find a discussion about tempos, for example, always a contentious issue among musicians. I can think of only a few people who would be able to discuss these matters as clearly and intelligibly as Judith Lang Zaimont."

Kilstofte, Anne. "An Interview with Judith Lang Zaimont: The Dual Process of the Cliburn Competition" in Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music Vol. 7 No. 3, Fall 2001.
Zaimont’s post-competition observations about her experience as Honored Composer in the American Composers Invitational competition, a new element for 2001 in the Van Cliburn International Competition.

(Read the full interview: Page 1 - Page 2 - Page 3 - Page 4 - Page 5 - Page 6 - Page 7)

Cherlin, Michael. "A Quintet of Quintets -- Chamber Music by Judith Lang Zaimont". The Clarinet, June 2001.
"Composer Judith Lang Zaimont's contributions to the chamber literature for wind instruments, especially the product of the last 15 years, well exemplify the harmonic richness and attention to elaborate surface structures characteristic of the composer's music in general. With the exception of two early flute solos and a more recent duo and trio favoring the oboe, the clarinet is a central contributor to this repertoire. This article will focus on Zaimont's chamber works, especially the five quintets for mixed ensembles featuring the clarinet.

Zaimont's musical language, while very much her own, can be traced to two wide streams of musical influence. First, there is a strong underlying connection with the French tradition, most especially with those composers who helped to shape the musical world during the first half of our century, Debussy, Ravel, and that sometimes Frenchman, the Russian Stravinsky. Second, she has clearly absorbed a wide range of American idioms, to include the American symphonists from the 1940s and '50s, as well as aspects of Tin Pan Alley and Jazz. Her music routinely makes virtuosic demands of the players, yet, for the most part, these are grounded in traditional musical techniques....

... The sensitivity to color so characteristic of "...3:4,5..." is a quality we have found in all of Zaimont's compositions. Add this to a sure sense of musical drama wedded to a wonderfully intuitive sense of form, and a high level of instrumental virtuosity always in service of musical ends, and we find the voice of a composer who has thrived on American eclecticism. For the woodwind player, and the clarinetist in particular, here lies a wealth of contemporary music to explore.”

Dunn, Jeff. "A to Z: Interviews with John Luther Adams and Judith Lang Zaimont". 21st Century Music, January 2000.

Adams, Clinton. "All-American Appeal". Piano & Keyboard Magazine, No. 195, November-December 1998. Feature article pps. 39-43.
Description of composer's style, individual works for piano, and discography.

"Composers who are excellent pianists themselves instinctively tap into the piano's best resources. The works they create for the keyboard, feel, as well as sound, good. The piano music of Judith Lang Zaimont is a fresh example of this phenomenon. These sure-handed pieces are colorful, expressive, and inviting."
Zech, John. “The Composer’s Voice -- Judith Lang Zaimont”. Produced May 1998 by Minnesota Public Radio and subsequently broadcast nationally on National Public Radio.
1-hour program featuring Zaimont’s music and commentary.

Reel, James. "A Conversation with Judith Lang Zaimont". FANFARE Magazine, Vol. 19 No. 5 May/June 1996. 30-35.

Atkinson, K. "Composer Profile - Judith Lang Zaimont". Women of Note Quarterly, Vol. 3 No. 4 November 1995. 1, 3-7.

Baird, S. L. "The Musical Depiction of Drama in Judith Lang Zaimont's Parable: A Tale of Abram and Isaac". Choral Journal: April 1994. 19-24.

McNeil, L. "The Vocal Solo Works of Judith Lang Zaimont". The NATS Journal May/June 1993. 5-10.

Jezic, D. P. "Judith Lang Zaimont" . In Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found, 1988, 1994. (New York, NY: The Feminist Press) (2nd ed: 211-222).

The New Grove Dictionary of American Music. S.v. "Zaimont, Judith Lang". by E. Wood. (London and New York: Macmillan Press, 1986).

LePage, J.W. "Judith Lang Zaimont". In Women Composers, Conductors and Musicians of the Twentieth Century, vol. 2 Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1983.

Books / Articles by Zaimont

Ongoing Zaimont blog at "MusicMaker (JLZ)"

      Short essays on many music topics, from particular composers and composer career issues, to more general pieces dealing with aspects inflecting the appreciation of new music for today's listeners.

Zaimont.  “Embracing New Music”.   September 2008  American Music Teacher magazine.
-- Named 2009 Article of the Year by MTNA
Read essay here.

      It probes the underlying reasons why recent music forms such a small percentage of the repertoire students wind up performing in concert, using as springboard the observation that “All music was once new music.” Explores the effects of the splintering of the music profession into the separated specialties of performer, scholar and composer during the 20th century, and how this ultimately can condition and limit what works students get to study and perform.

Zaimont.  “Imaging the Composer Today”.    September 2006 /  July 2007

Keynote Address
for the 2006 national meeting of The College Music Society   ( San Anotnio, TX. )   Reprinted with footnotes in the Journal of the International Alliance for Women in Music,  July 2007.

      Clear-eyed  view of the emotional payoffs, artistic decisions and  fulfillments,  and  economic perils,  that characterize the  career of  composer in the 21st century.

Zaimont.  “The Matter of Style” .      August 2006.     NewMusicBox 

To what extent is a style something knowingly applied by a composer?” Article requested by the online magazine of the American Music Center exploring the many decisions a composer faces today in crafting ( or discovering ) her/his own personal artistic ‘voice’.    On the Internet:

Zaimont.   “Composer:  Living American Woman “      November/ December 2005 

Originally the Keynote Address for the National Conference on Women in the Arts,  University of Missouri, Saint Louis, MO.    ( 11/12/05)  Condesned for December 2005  publication by the online magazine of the American Music Center. 

Being  born a composer affects everything, channeling  how we act in the private sphere (as spouse and parent) to all emphases of  work as thinker, scholar, and teacher, and our perceptions of and responses to professional and world events.

On the Internet:

Zaimont. “Composer Profile -- Judith Lang Zaimont”. Piano Today. Summer 2004.

Discussing the conception and composing of In My Lunchbox (the 2003 commissioned work for the Music Teachers Association of California).

(read full text here)

Zaimont. “Straight Talk on New Notes”. Invited Address for College Music Society, national conference special session, Miami 2003.
Rationale and framework description for two new new-music initiatives being launched in 2003 by the College Music Society. Earlier version of this talk given as Keynote Address in March 2003 for the Rocky Mountain regional chapter of CMS, and in condensed form as “Bolstering the Music of Our Time”:

(read full text here, also excerpt below)
Across the United States, we’ve heard concerns expressed repeatedly and separately - by composers and those performers who regularly program more recent music - about how to approach newer works, particularly as to whether a specific performance will turn out to be an awkward encounter or a stimulating experience. Equally, we encountered dismay at the limited frequency of performance of this repertoire (in aggregate). In today’s era, where newer music is simply called “contemporary,” it is enlightening to remember that Rachmaninoff, Berg, Stravinsky, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Gershwin and Copland were also chronological “contemporaries,” whose individual styles we now readily understand and keep distinct in our thinking and performance approach. Living composers also deserve to be approached and comprehended in the same manner, as the individual voices they are.

What is needed is to provide an avenue of approach to the common goal of bringing these new notes truly to life that simultaneously respects both performers’ and composers’ points of view.

Let’s begin from the premise that collaboration between composer and performer needs to take place -- mind-to-mind, sensibility-to-sensibility -- even across stretches of time and place.
• No performer would wish to prepare and perform a particular new (or unfamiliar) piece with the mindset of an assigned task: Artists must and should have the freedom to choose their repertoire.

• And no composer should belatedly discover that a rendition of one of their works reveals fundamental misunderstanding of the music’s nature: Composers need a means by which to distinguish their individual style and to pinpoint a manner of performance lineage that most readily suits their music.
Zaimont. "On Being a Composer -- Ruminations on an Undescribable Art" (various versions)
Keynote Speech for March 2002 "Minnesota Classical Music Listening List" (Augsburg College), and October 2002 Keynote Address (Symposium on Women Composers -- Millsaps College, Jackson, MS). Earlier version River Falls, April 1999. Reprinted in condensed form in Sounding Board, the journal of the American Composers Forum, Volume 26 #7, July 1999; feature essay pps. 1, 6-7, 11.
(read full text here)

Zaimont. “Thematic Aspects”: A Design Strategy for the next CMS Report on the Status of Women in College Music. Invited paper delivered at Fall 2000 International Conference of the College Music Society, Toronto, Canada.
(read full text here)

Zaimont. "Modern America and America’s Musical Women: Social, Educational and Cultural Factors". 32 pps. (Invited address delivered at International Music Council - UNESCO, Paris, France: March 1996.)
International symposium on women and musical creativity
(read full text here)

Zaimont. "Composers and Performers: Re-balancing the Alliance". (Sounding Board, November 1995) 1, 8-9.
Requested essay for Minnesota Composers Forum

Zaimont. "Cultivating Excellence". (Phi Beta Kappa Initiation Address, Agnes Scott College (GA), April 1995).

Zaimont. "A '90s Perspective on Creative Musical Women". (Pan Pipes of Sigma Alpha Iota: Winter 1994) 2-4, 18.
Keynote Address for the Biennial Convention of Sigma Alpha Iota (music fraternity), delivered in Cincinnati - August 1993; also re-printed in Fall 1994 Newsletter of Women in Music - American Federation of Musicians newsletter. In revised form, delivered as an address before Minneapolis chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW) - March 1995.

Zaimont and M. B. Hinely. "The Awakening: Creative Contributions to American Music by Southern Women, 1860-1960". In A New Perspective - Southern Women's Cultural History from the Civil War to Civil Rights (P.C. Little and R. C. Vaughan, eds.) (Viriginia Foundation for the Humanities: 1989), 65-76.
Originally an invited paper delivered at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Fall 1988

Zaimont, creator and ed. in chief; co-eds. Gottlieb et. al. THE MUSICAL WOMAN: An International Perspective. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press). 3 vols: I (1984), 406 pps; II (1987), 557 pps; III (1991), 816 pps.
See 'Awards as Author'

Zaimont and Famera, compilers and eds. Contemporary Concert Music by Women: A Directory of the Composers and Their Works. (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press) 1981. 355 pps. A project for the International League of Women Composers.

Zaimont. "Twentieth-Century Music for the Developing Pianist: A Graded and Annotated List". In Teaching Piano (D. Agay, ed.) (New York: Yorktown Music Press, 1981) Vol. II: 389-436.
A project for the International League of Women Composers

Zaimont. "Twentieth-Century Music: An Analysis and Appreciation". In Teaching Piano (D. Agay, ed.) (New York: Yorktown Music Press, 1981) Vol. II: 489-548.

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