Known today to be on of the most prolific and performed living American composers, Tower’s piece, like the first and third fanfares, are an homage and response to Aaron Copland’s Fanfare to the Common Man.
Second Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, commissioned by Absolut Vodka, is the second composition in what will be a trilogy of fanfares. Scored for brass and percussion (3 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, and 3 percussion), it is 4 ½ minutes in length. The first fanfare was composed for the Houston Symphony [for the sesquicentennial of the state of Texas] in 1986. At that time, Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man inspired both the music (theme and instrumentation) and the title. The second fanfare is a tribute not only to Aaron Copland but also to women who are adventurous and take risks. This work is dedicated with love and admiration to Joan Briccetti, general manager of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. The third fanfare has been commissioned to celebrate Carnegie Hall’s 100th Anniversary in 1991.
Congratulations, again, to the NHSO! Find out more about tomorrow’s concert here.
If you can’t make it, here is a taste of Tower’s work – the First Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman performed by the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin:
Conductor JoAnn Falletta, who leads the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Read the press release here.
Estonian World has an in depth interview with conductor Kristiina Poska – the kapellmeister of the Komische Oper Berlin, and reportedly the busiest woman conductor in the world (based on the number of performances). Read the full interview here.
In disappointing news, the 10th annual Forum Wallis, an international festival for new music that takes place in Switzerland May 12-16, has announced that it will feature the works of 10 American composers – all of whom are men. (Though the festival isn’t completely without women – works by Mirjana Nardelli of Italy, Emilie Payeur of Canada, and Leonie Roessler of Germany/the Netherlands will be heard). Read more at NewMusicBox.
I missed writing about the Boston Women’s Music Project before their inaugural concert on April 13, but don’t miss Carol Cubberly’s review of the concert in the Boston Music Intelligencer!
What did I miss? As always, leave a comment and link below!
Known for going against norms (defying her father in receiving a music education, composed operas in Victorian England, fiercely advocated for women’s rights and women’s suffrage, and was not secretive about being a lesbian) her works have largely fallen into obscurity – though not entirely.
Last summer Leon Botstein presented the first fully staged production of Smyth’s The Wreckers at Bard. (We wrote about the premiere here – and were fortunate to have Amy Zigler write about her experience attending a performance.
More recently, the New York Times reminded readers that Smyth’s Der Wald was the first opera by a women to be heard on the Met stage – with the second one schedule for the 2016-2017 season.
To celebrate her birthday, have a listen to her Serenade in D:
This past Tuesday, April 19, marked the 124th birthday of French composer Germaine Tailleferre. She is remembered predominately for being the only female member of Les Six, a group of French composers (other members included Louis Durey, Arthur Honegger, Darius Milhaud, Georges Auric, and Francis Poulenc).
Tailleferre attended the Paris Conservatory against her father’s wishes. Her talent was evident from an early age, and she won many awards. She composed throughout her life – reportedly even until a few weeks before her death. Though much of her work is for chamber ensembles, she also composed several works for full orchestra, as well as music for film and television.
Enjoy her Ballade for Piano and Orchestra:
As well as her award winning Concertino for Harp and Piano:
Don’t forget to download the WPA Calendar celebrating the birthdays of women composers.