Women's Philharmonic Advocacy

Handel and Haydn Society Celebrates 200 Years

by sarah - December 19, 2014

The Handel and Haydn Society – the oldest continually performing arts organization in the U.S. – is celebrating their bicentennial this year.  Founded in Boston in 1815, the chorus has made important U.S. premieres of works by the “great masters”, as well as works by American women composers.  The Handel and Haydn Society premiered Amy Beach’s Mass as well as works by Margaret Ruthven Lang.

The H+H website does share the concert listings since the 2000-2001 season.  A cursory review, however, shows that women composers haven’t been included in programming as of last.  What a shame that the management didn’t look to the history of the Boston composers when constructing the programs (or even one program) for this anniversary year.

But, even if there isn’t a nod to the women of the past – at least there is one for the women in music today.  The final concert of the subscription series features a world premiere by Gabriela Lena Frank (title TBD).  More information about the June 18th concert is available here.

Here is a taste of Beach’s Mass – and here’s to hoping the Handel and Haydn Society once again performs this important piece of American music.


Smithsonian Sheet Music For Sale

by sarah - December 16, 2014

The Smithsonian Institution has partnered with Sheet Music Plus to offer digitized works from the archives.  They chose 400 titles from the Sam DeVincent Collection of illustrated sheet music.  The sale of these digital downloads, the collection of which is largely popular tunes originally meant to be enjoyed by families circled around the piano, will help support archival work at the Smithsonian.

Among the titles now being offered are a handful of the works of “lady composers” from the early 20th century, primarily of rags  – find the list here.  This is a great way to support the important preservation work done by the Smithsonian as well as to remember these forgotten composers and popular music history.  Also – the covers are great!


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Congrats to Rei Hotoda

by sarah - December 11, 2014

Rei Hotoda was just named the first woman Associate Conductor to the Utah Symphony Orchestra.  Read the press release here.

Rei Hotoda

Rei Hotoda

In the past Hotoda has collaborated with Canadian composer Nicole Lizée, and Hotoda is one of the conductors featured on the recording of Lizée’s works titled, This Will Not Be Televised.

Grammy Nominations for Anna Clyne and Hilary Hahn

by sarah - December 10, 2014

The list of 2015 Grammy nominations has been published – and Anna Clyne’s Prince of Clouds is in the running for Contemporary Classical Composition.  Her work shares the ballot with John Luther Adams (Become Ocean), George Crumb (Voices From The Heartland), Stephen Paulus (Concerto For Two Trumpets & Band), and Roberto Sierra (Sinfonia No. 4).

Have a listen to the Chicago Symphony performing the nominated piece:

I also recommend listening to this conversation between Clyne and soloist Jennifer Koh about the work:


Also nominated in the Chamber Music/Small Ensemble category is the recording of Hilary Hahn’s “27 Pieces”.  We wrote about this when the project was first announced.  Among the commissions are works by Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Lera Auerbach, Tina Davidson, Jennifer Higdon, Bun-Ching Lam, Michiru Oshima, Kala Ramnath, Gillian Whitehead, and Du Yun.  The album was released by Deutsche Grammophon.

Congrats to Elim Chan!

by sarah - December 9, 2014

Congratulations to Elim Chan, the first woman to win the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition.

The competition, which was founded in 1990, strives to support the careers of up and coming conductors.  The award is not only generous, but potentially life-changing:

In addition to an award of £15,000, the winner of the Competition will have the opportunity to become Assistant Conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra for up to one year. During this time the successful conductor will work with the LSO’s Principal and guest conductors on the preparation of concerts, often on the assessment of new scores, take part in the LSO’s education and outreach programme, LSO Discovery, accompany the orchestra on tour and, should the opportunity arise, conduct the LSO in concert.

Donatella Flick 2014 conducting competition winner Elim Chan. Photograph: Clive Totman/LSO

Donatella Flick 2014 conducting competition winner Elim Chan. Photograph: Clive Totman/LSO

You can read the award announcement in The Guardian.  Elim Chan is currently a conducting student at the University of Michigan – you can read a short artist bio here.   Certainly a career to watch in the coming years!

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