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NYWC Spotlight: Beth Anderson

We are excited to continue our collaboration with the New York Women Composers. This month, we spotlight composer and conductor Beth Anderson.

Beth Anderson. Photo: Molly Sheridan, NewMusicBox.

Beth Anderson. Photo: Molly Sheridan, NewMusicBox.


Beth Anderson is a composer of new romantic music, text-sound works, and music theater events. She has composed an opera, an oratorio, music for orchestra, voice, chorus, tape, instrumental solos with and without electronic modulation, and a large amount of chamber music. Her all-Beth Anderson recordings are out on Other Minds (NAMELY, 2020), MSR (THE PRAYING MANTIS & THE BLUEBIRD, 2012), Albany (QUILT MUSIC, 2004), New World (SWALES & ANGELS, 2004), and Pogus (PEACHY KEEN-O, 2003). Born in Kentucky, she studied primarily at Mills College and the University of California at Davis. She has been awarded an Aaron Copland Fund for Music grant, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

Featured Work: “Dr. Blood’s Mermaid Lullaby” for cello and piano


  • Title: “Dr. Blood’s Mermaid Lullaby”
  • Composer: Beth Anderson
  • Year of Composition: 1980
  • Instrumentation: cello and piano
  • Movements: 1
  • Duration of Work: 3:40
  • Number of Measures: 46
  • Number of pages: 6
  • Tempo: dotted quarter = 66
  • Difficulty Level: intermediate
  • Highest Position Reached: 4th
  • Techniques Employed: legato; 12/8 meter; 16th notes; grace note and trills; expressive dynamics, ranging from mp to pppp and many crescendo/decrescendo hairpins
  • Publisher: self-published
  • Where to Purchase the Score: email the composer
  • Cost of Score*: $5.00 (PDF)


This recording is the version for flute and piano. Please let us know if you record the cello and piano version. Thank you.

Program Notes

“One night I had a very bad dream about Dr. Blood stealing my blood. I woke up and wrote what felt like the antidote to this dream – a kind of underwater lullaby with mermaids and a music box. Since the imaginary Dr. Blood was the “cause” of the dream, I gave him credit in the title. I felt much better afterwards. I have arranged it for flute and piano as well as cello and piano. The YouTube performance available is for flute and piano. Someone should record it for cello and piano.

I love strings and have written a number of string quartets and a string trio, as well as music for string orchestra and mixed chamber groups that include strings.” – Beth Anderson

Beth Anderson’s Other Works with a Prominent Cello Part

  • Pennyroyal Swale Part 1 for string quartet, dedicated to Mr. James Roy

  • Jasmine Swale (2005) for string trio, written for the Jade String Trio


A Collaboration with the New York Women Composers (NYWC)

The NYWC series at the Cello Museum was created to showcase its members who have composed various pieces for cello, informing cellists seeking new music to add to their repertoire, and helping listeners find new favorites. Many thanks to the NYWC for this wonderful collaboration.

Read other installments in the series here.

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*Prices are accurate at the time of article publication, but the Cello Museum cannot take responsibility for subsequent price changes.