Elizabeth Bell Friou, award-winning composer and co-founder of New York Women Composers, Inc., died on Monday, December 19, in Tarrytown at the age of 88. Known professionally as Elizabeth Bell, she served as a member of the Board of Governors of the American Composers Alliance (ACA) and was involved in numerous other music associations.

A direct descendant of the ninth US president, William Henry Harrison, she was born in Cincinnati in 1928 to William Procter Bell and Sophie Buckner Bell. She graduated from Wellesley College in 1950 and from the Juilliard School in 1953.

Ms. Bell served as the music critic of the Ithaca Journal and received commissions from a range of musical associations, including New York State Council on the Arts, the Bradshaw/Buono duo, the Inoue Chamber Ensemble, North/South Consonance, the Putnam Valley Orchestra, and Vienna Modern Masters. Her musical compositions have been performed world-wide in concert halls and cathedrals from New York to Eastern Europe, Russia and Armenia. A lifelong advocate for the role of women in musical composition, she was a leading proponent of the International Alliance for Women in Music, established in 1994 to unite three distinguished organizations, the International Congress on Women in Music, the American Women Composers, and the International League of Women Composers.

She married astronomer Frank Drake in 1953 and they had three sons. Following their divorce, she moved from Ithaca, NY, to Tarrytown, NY. In 1983 she married attorney Robert Friou.

She leaves three sons: Stephen David Drake of Nashville, (married to Kim Carpenter Drake), Richard Procter “Rippy” Drake of Oberlin, OH, (Alice Moore), and Paul Robert Drake of Cape Cod, MA, (Ellen Sullivan); two step-daughters, Elisabeth Friou Mote (Gary Mote) and Jane Friou Clemens (David Clemens); six grandchildren, Becky Barger Gauthier (Ronald Gauthier), David Allen Clemens, Amy Jane Clemens, Grace Cecelia Drake, Elizabeth Harrison “Harris” Drake, and Spencer Logan Drake; and two great-grandchildren, Ava and Wyatt Gauthier.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, January 16, 2017, from 4:00 – 6:00 PM at the Coffey Funeral Home, 91 North Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591, tel. 914-631-0983.