Classical 91.5

Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music

If you look at the listings of the major orchestras in America you will see two things in common; very few of them are programming major pieces by women composers, and almost none have a woman on the podium. Despite the abundance of wonderful compositions by women, the world of classical music has been, for centuries, a man’s world.

During Women’s History Month, Classical 91.5 turns things around to celebrate the achievements of women:  from Hildegarde of Bingen to Jennifer Higdon, and everyone in between. Tune in throughout the month of March to hear the musical gifts of women.  It’s time.

There's lots more content online, from blog posts to videos, resources for research and even some Classics for Kids audio features and Quizzes on the right side of the screen.  Please explore the site to find out more.

Learn more about:

Marin Alsop, conductor
Amy Beach, composer
Hildegard von Bingen, composer and mystic      
Lili & Nadia Boulanger, musicians & teacher
Francesca Caccini, lutenist and composer
Sarah Caldwell, conductor
Cecile Chaminade, composer
Leonora d'Este, princess, musician & nun
JoAnn Falletta, conductor
Louise Farrenc, pianist & composer
Renee Fleming, soprano
Jennifer Higdon, composer
Sharon Isbin, guitarist
Saint Kassiani, composer
Jeanne Lamon, conductor
Fanny Mendelssohn, composer
Jessye Norman, soprano
Florence Price, composer
Clara Schumann, pianist & composer
Dame Ethel Smyth, composer
Barbara Strozzi, composer
 

Love at Fifth Sight: On Becoming a Composer

Apr 16, 2018

A guest blog by composer Wang Jie

Almost all musicians cocoon their mistakes behind practice room doors. When they walk on stage, their bow marks the beginning of truth, and beauty, and butterflies. I’m a composer. I make all my mistakes in public, in front of musicians I admire, people I care about. Still, after each performance of my work, I’m invited to appear on stage to take bows. Nine out of ten of these performances are world premieres. I will have just greeted the result of months, sometimes years of gestation and labor.

https://theviolinchannel.com/hildegard-female-composers-competition-new-york-winners/?utm_source=FEBRUARY+20+2018+NEWS&utm_campaign=NEWS+FEB+20&utm_medium=email

The 2018 winners of the 1st Hildegard Competition have been announced.  The Hildegard Competition recognizes rising female and non-binary composers.

The 2018 1st prize winners are:

The RPO's 96th season will include music from the classic repertoire, as well as programming aimed at the family. We sit down with music director Ward Stare and Curt Long, the new CEO.

Our conversation includes the criticism that some orchestras have received for not featuring enough music by women and people of color -- something the RPO says it is addressing this season. Our guests:

http://reneefleming.com/calendar/

American soprano Renee Fleming grew up in Rochester. During her undergraduate studies at the Crane School of Music she sang with a jazz trio.  While she was at Crane she decided to do her graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music. 

Her first major break came in 1988, when she won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. She performed at the inaugural celebration for President Obama, and in 2014 was the first opera singer to perform the national anthem at the Super Bowl.

Here Renee sings It's a Beautiful Day for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert (2012)

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

Byzantine Blog - WordPress.com

Saint Kassiani (aka Kassia) was a ninth-century Byzantine abbess in Constantinople. She wrote spiritual poetry and composed music to accompany it. She is the earliest female composer whose music has survived to the present day. Approximately two dozen of her hymns are still included in the Orthodox Church liturgy.

Listen to her music.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

When Marin Alsop was appointed the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony in 2007, there were some in the group that were not pleased. But it must have worked out…she will now hold that position until 2021. A violinist by training, she has founded two ensembles, studied with Leonard Bernstein, and was the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms. And if that’s not enough, you can also find Alsop at the helm of the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Catch up on all her latest news and press, recordings and projects, her busy schedule of concerts and events and watch video clips and interviews from her career to date.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

Indiana Public Media

Although Jeanne Lamon made her name as the Music Director of Canada’s Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, she was born and raised in New York State.  After studies at Brandeis University and in the Netherlands, she returned stateside to teach at Smith College.  It was after two guest appearances with Tafelmusik that Lamon landed the Music Director position.  Thirty-three years later, she stepped down, leaving an orchestra with a reputation as one of the finest in the early music field.

The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State’s Christie Black speaks with Lamon about “The Galileo Project” and her career.  Listen here.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

AllMusic

When JoAnn Falletta matriculated at Mannes College of Music as a guitar major, she had already set her sights on the conductor’s podium. Despite the administration’s doubts that a woman could be a Music Director, they changed her major, and Falletta never looked back. Now in her 18th year as the Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic, Falletta never lost her love of guitar, establishing an international competition in 2004.

Learn more about her career, her biography and her discography.

Hear JoAnn talk to kids about what it's like to be a conductor.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

https://www.classical-scene.com/2016/10/05/divine-sarah/

A child prodigy violinist, Sarah Caldwell was not satisfied simply playing an instrument: she had her eyes set on being a conductor.  And she did it, becoming the head of the opera department at Boston University at 28, and founding the Opera Company of Boston 5 years later. After stints with the New York City Opera, Caldwell would become the first female conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. In 1996, her efforts were honored when she received the National Medal of Arts.

Those in Boston remember the "Divine Sarah."

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

http://www.sharonisbin.com/photos.html

Guitarist Sharon Isbin has commissioned more works for her instrument than any other performer. After graduating from Yale, Isbin founded the guitar department at her alma mater, then went on the Juilliard to set up a guitar department there. Since then, she has spanned genres from classical to jazz to Latin, winning three Grammy awards and multiple honors.

Learn more about this multiple Grammy Award winner, her music, and why she is described as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time”.

This post is part WXXI Classical 91.5’s celebration of Women’s History Month. For more of these stories and other resources, check out Celebrating the Contributions of Women to Classical Music.

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