Women's Philharmonic Advocacy

Works by Women this Weekend

by sarah - March 24th, 2017

There’s something for everyone with this weekend’s range of concerts happening across the country!


In Chicago the Chicago Sinfonietta offers a concert called More Than a Letter: A Celebration of LGBTQ Artists and Classical Music on March 25 & 27.  The program will include Jennifer Higdon’s Peachtree Street.  The concert will also feature guest conductor Michael Morgan and Guest Artist Sara Davis Buchner.  Learn more about each of the composers included on the program, and sample some of the music that will be heard, here.  Tickets and more information on the ensemble is  available here.


In New York City the American Composers Orchestra will offer the World Premiere of a new commission by Paola Prestini. The work, titled The Hotel that Time Forgot for video artist and orchestra.  Prestini says this about the inspiration for the work:

Across the border from Syria, in a forgotten Lebanese city, sits an unexpected building, The Grand Hotel Palmyra. The hotel hasn’t closed since its opening in 1874, even as war has raged just outside its doors. The owner Rima Husseini says, “No one has a right to touch hotel Palmyra, except for time.” I became fascinated with the hotel when I first came upon a video showing its interior. It became clear that I wanted to create a sonic orchestral world to relive its memories.

You can learn more about the piece in a Q&A with the composer on SoundAdvice.  Learn more about the concert, taking place on March 24, here.


In Oakland, California the Prometheus Symphony will perform Elizabeth Maconchy’s Two Dances from “Puck Fair”.  We at Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy are particularly delighted to help support this performance – the inaugural concert in the newly formed Women Composers series – through a Performance Grant!  We look forward to many more exciting and diverse programs to come!  Learn more about the concert, which will take place on Sunday, March 26, here.

Monday Link Round Up: March 20, 2017

by sarah - March 20th, 2017

News to start your week!


We were just made aware of Gramophone‘s contribution in honor of International Women’s Day.  They’ve compiled a list of historic female composers that are worth listening to and – perhaps most notably – have decent recordings available.  This highlights an important issue of the lack of representation of works by women composers not just in concert halls, but in recorded media as well.  Read on here.


Musicologist and conductor Laurie Stras writes about her discovery of 16th century motets in The Guardian.  Stras argues that these works, which are anonymously published, are the works of the youngest daughter of Lucrezia Borgia.  Read more about the discovery, and new recording, here.


The California Symphony has announced that Katherine Blach has won the position of Young American Composer in Residence.  Blach is currently pursing a DMA at Columbia.  Read more in the press release from the California Symphony website.


Alex Ross featured Missy Mazzoli string quartet Death Valley Junction on his blog – very much worth a visit and a listen!


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

Works by Women this Weekend

by sarah - March 17th, 2017

It’s another full weekend of concerts featuring the works of historic and contemporary women composers – from coast to coast!  We are proud to have been able to support both of these organizations through WPA Performance Grants.

On the East Coast the National String Symphonia, based in Frederick MD, is presenting a concert on March 18 & 19 entitled COMPOS(H)ERS: Words Modern and Classic spans two centuries of women making music.  Included composers are Pamela Harrison, Elena Ruehr, Liana Alexandra, Ethel Smyth, Libby Larsen, and the world premiere of a new work by Beth Anderson.  Find out more information here.


On the West Coast the Stockton Symphony, in Stockton, CA, will present a concert of Brother and Sister Geniuses on March 18.  They have paired Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (“Scottish”) with Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Overture in C Major.  Find out more information about the concert and purchase tickets online here.



Monday Link Round Up: March 13, 2017

by sarah - March 13th, 2017

News to start your week!

In line with the conversations that have been taking place in honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, The Guardian has a fantastic op-ed by Susanna Eastburn, head of Scotland’s Sound and Music, about why women are worthy of inclusion.  She argues, it’s not about Tokenism – it’s about Talent.  Read on here


Speaking of International Women’s Day, Alex Ross chose that day to feature Do You Be by Meredith Monk on his blog.


Fanny Mendelssohn’s Easter Sonata for piano, which was lost and then misattributed to her brother, Felix, has finally been premiered under her name!  The performance was heard live on BBC Radio 3.  Read about the work, and how it was rightfully attributed from Fanny’s great-great-great-grandaughter Sheila Hayman in The Guardian.


The Guardian also has a review of a new recording of Francesca Caccini’s opera La Liberazione di Ruggiero dall’Isola d’Alcina, which was first performed in 1625.  Read on here.


The Hart Institute for Women Conductors at the Dallas Opera is currently accepting applications!  The 2017 institute will be held in November.  Find out more here.


In related news, The New York Conducting Institute will hold their first International Women’s Conducting Workshop this week.  Maestro Diane Wittry will lead the workshop, and all applicants will be considered for Conducting Fellowship positions with Ms. Wittry at the Allentown Symphony Orchestra – a past winner of the WPA Performance Grant.  Learn more about the workshop here.

Rarely Heard Work in San Francisco this Weekend

by sarah - March 10th, 2017

The Bay Area Rainbow Symphony is a nonprofit organization that is

dedicated to promoting and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identified (LGBTQ) musicians and composers toward the goal of broad crossover appeal and excellence in the performing arts. BARS is synonymous with excellence and distinction in the performing arts and community building.

The BARS commitment to diverse and inclusive programming is unquestionable.  We’ve been delighted to support their excellent programming through Performance Grants.  The coming concert, which will take place on March 11, is a great example of the way that Dawn Harms, music director, skillfully curates each concert experience for both performer and audience.

The program includes works by Koussevitzky, Paganini, Sibelius, and Andrée.  Though the first three names are likely familiar to any concert-goer, it is rare to hear a work by the Swedish composer, organist and conductor Elfrida Andrée (1841-1929).

She was a pioneer in Sweden during her time, writing chamber music, choral works,  symphonic works, and full masses, as well as works for organ.  Her work as a conductor paved the way for future generations to take up the baton, and she gained recognition during her lifetime for her achievements as an orchestral conductor.  Though she was a prolific composer she is largely forgotten in today’s repertoire.  All of this makes the BARS performance of Andrée’s Concert Overture in D (1873) all the more special.

Tickets and more information is available here or on the BARS Facebook page.