Women's Philharmonic Advocacy

Monday Link Round Up: July 25, 2016

by sarah - July 25th, 2016

News to start your week!

ICYMI, Philip Clark shared his thoughts in The Guardian in a blog post titled “Where have the great composers gone?”  His thesis is, essentially, that contemporary music doesn’t compare to composers like Britten, Tippet, Davies, and Birswistle.  You can read the full piece here.  What’s most important about this piece is the other responses it has solicited.

Susanna Eastburn, the chief executive of Sound and Music, “the UK’s leading organization for new music”, shared her response as an op-ed in The Guardian.  

Joshua Mosman, of the San Francisco Chronicle also responded.


It is Marin Alsop’s 25th season with the Cabrillo Festival – and her final one.  Good Times, Santa Cruz County’s weekly newspaper, shares a profile about Alsop and the festival she helped shape over the past two and a half decades.


There are two new recordings of chamber works to be excited about – Andrew Clements reviews the Berlin Oboe Quartet in their new recording of contemporary works, including work by Helen Grime (calling the album a “thoroughly rewarding collection, superbly played and recorded).  There is also a new recording of Grażyna Bacewicz’s seven string quartets by The Silesian Quartet.  Erica Jeal has the review, and compares this new recording to the Lutoslawski Quartet’s recording of the same works that were released last year.


As always, what did we miss?  What are you reading?  Leave us a comment and let us know!

Diverse Programming at the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra

by sarah - July 20th, 2016

NewLogoSmallMore and more ensembles have been embracing the summer festival season in recent years, and using the opportunity to explore new approaches in performance venues and programming.

The Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra is one of the most established summer ensembles, first established in 1987 to extend the classical music season into the summer months.  Though always committed to a diverse and engaging programming, the work of Artistic Director Warren Friesen in recent years is particularly commendable – which is why the LSCO is a recipient of a WPA Performance Grant.

The 2016 season boasts four concerts, three of which include a work by a woman composer:

July 21: Germaine Tailleferre – Double Concerto for Piano, Flute, and Strings

July 28: Alice Mary Smith – “Allegretto amorevolle” from Symphony in C Minor

August 4: Tina Davidson – Celestial Turnings for strings


See the full repertoire for each concert for the 2016 season here – which will also show the brilliant programming of each concert, pairing contemporary and historic composers brilliantly!  I am particularly excited for the inclusion of work by Alice Mary Smith – have a listen to her work below:

Congratulations to the LSCO!  I’m already looking forward to seeing what the 2017 season will bring!

Monday Link Round Up: July 18, 2016

by sarah - July 18th, 2016

News to start your week!


New Music Box has the fellows and finalists of the New York Foundation of the Arts Artists’ Fellowship Program – including Lisa Bielawa, Du Yun, Stephanie Griffin, Sarah Hennies, Molly Herron, and Angelica Negrón.  Read more here.


Patti Niemi, percussionist with the San Francisco Opera Orchestra, has a new memoir about her experiences as a professional musician titled Sticking it Out.  She spoke with Sam Briger on Fresh Air.  Read the transcript here, or listen to the conversation below:


There is now funding in Britain to encourage orchestras to perform works by contemporary British composers.  Gillian Moore of The Guardian has the story – and a list of suggestions, including works by Helen Grime, Errollyn Wallen, and Tansy Davies.  Read the full story, and listen to excerpts, here.


The News & Record in Greensboro, NC has a story about Eastern Music Festival’s conducting training program, now in it’s second year.  The 8 fellows include 5 women and 3 men from across the globe.  Read more here.


What did we miss?  What are you reading?  Leave us a comment and link below!

Works by Women at the 2016 BBC Proms

by sarah - July 14th, 2016


It’s the most anticipated and celebrated summer festival each year, carrying from July to September, the always presents an interesting range of ensembles, conductors, soloists, and styles.

The 2016 season kicks off on Friday, July 15, demonstrating that this season is going to be much as last years.  Meaning:  what the Proms continues to be missing, like most music line-ups around the world, is equal representation.  Compared to last year the 2016 lineup is a bit – well – lacking.  Which isn’t to say that there are some excellent treasures included.

Works by Women Composersaaa

Prom 4: The Munich Philharmonic Orchestra; Valery Gergiev, conductor

Galina Ustvolskaya: Symphony No. 3, ‘Jesus Messiah, Save Us!’

Prom 10 and Prom 12: Ten Pieces II presented by the BBC Philharmonic; Alpesh Chauhan, conductor
[Reprising  similar event held last year which includes works included in a new curriculum for secondary school students across the UK exploring “essential” pieces of classical music.]

Anna Clyne: Night Ferry

Prom 22: BBC Symphony Orchestra; Edward Gardner, conductor

Lera Auerbach: Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie (Symphony No. 3)
BBC co-commission with the Bergen Philharmonic and the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande: UK Premiere

Prom 27: BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Thomas Dausgaard, conductor

Helen Grime: Two Eardley Pictures – 1: Catterline in Winter
BBC Commission: world premiere

Prom 29: National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain; Edward Garner, conductor

Iris ter Schiphorst: Gravitational Waves
BBC co-commission with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain: London premiere

Prom 30: National Youth Orchestra of Scotland; Ilan Volkov, conductor

Helen Grime: Two Eardley Pictures – 2: Snow
BBC commission: world premiere

Prom 39: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo, conductor

Charlotte Bray: Falling in the Fire
BBC Commission: world premiere

Prom 53: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vasily Petrenko, conductor

Emily Howard: Torus (Concerto for Orchestra)
BBC co-commission with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: world premiere

Proms Chamber Music 7: Armida Quartet

Sally Beamish : Merula perpetua
BBC co-commission with the Royal Philharmonic Society: world premiere


Marin Alsop has had the honor for the past two years of conducting the final night of the Proms – and was the first woman to do so.  Though Sakari Oramo has the honor this year, Alsop is conducting the Sao Paulo Symphony in Prom 51, though no women composers are included.  (Alsop is also conducing Verdi’s Requiem in Prom 74.)

The new conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Migra Gražinytė-Tyla, will be leading the ensemble in Prom 55 – but, again, no works by women will be heard.

And, as always, some perspective.  There are 112 composers represented in the 2016 Proms – 8 of whom are women.  Only one of those women will have more than one piece heard.  Unfortunately, and as we have come to anticipate there has been little progress since the 2015 Proms  – and, in fact we may be moving backwards.  (In 2015 there were 11 women composers represented, viruses this year’s 8) .  And isn’t it strange that there will (again) not be any performances of works by Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir?

It is noteworthy that so many of the works by women being heard are premieres and commissioned pieces by young, talented composers.  But it seems that the range of voices is still embarrassingly small.

The full list of events, including options to sort by composer, conductor, and performer, are available here.

Monday Link Round Up: July 11, 2016

by sarah - July 11th, 2016

News to start your week!

We shared information last week about the upcoming concert by The Dream Unfinished and the amazing work being done by this activist orchestra.  The ensemble has also received some well-deserved press from The New York Times.


A new opera by Patricia Leonard just received its world premiere in Boston!  The opera, My Dearest Friend, is based off of the letter between John and Abigail Adams.  I’m sorry we missed sharing the news before the premiere (which happened on July 2), but read more about the work, stay informed of future performances, and learn more about Leonard on her website.


Anna Beer’s new text on the lives and music of eight historic women is receiving more well-deserved press!  WQXR has an interview with the author – read online here, or listen below:


Edward Wickham of The Guardian has a great piece on English church choirs and the changes that they are experiencing as the centuries-old ban on girls is being lifted – though not without controversy.  Read the full piece here.

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