News to start your week!
On December 1 the Met Opera performed L’Amour de Loin by Kaija Saariaho. This historic Met premiere marked only the second time a work by a woman composer has been heard at the institution – the last being over a century ago. Many great stories and conversations have already come out of this event, and I’m sure there are more to come! Here are some highlights.
David Patrick Stearns has a review on WQXR.
New Music Box has a profile of Saariaho’s career that led to having her work heard in one of the greatest opera venues in the world.
NPR had a conversation with Saariaho on Weekend Edition Saturday – read online, or listen below:
The news of the premiere has also created a spotlight on other women composers. Even MentalFloss has a profile of Ethel Smyth – the first woman composer to have her work performed at the Met, in 1903. And Alice Gregory of The New York Times has a woman-only history of classical music that is a good start (though rather abbreviated) history of the work of women in music. But, we need to start somewhere, right?
For more on contemporary women’s voices, have a listen to BBC Radio 3’s Inspiring Women in Music series – and a conversation with composer Nicola LeFanu.
Finally, Gramophone Magazine notes the value of diverse music – but also the significant lack of recordings of works by women composers. There are recordings out there – though not always still commercially available (and who shops used CD stores anymore?) But this speaks to a wider problem of encouraging contemporary performers to record historic and contemporary works by women composers.
What did we miss? What are you reading? Leave a link and let us know!