I had the opportunity to explore a bit of the archives at the Library of Congress when completing my Master’s thesis. It was a thrilling experience – and one I hope to repeat when time allows, and research requires. The LOC is such a treasure to any scholar or armchair historian who can request to see amazing documents and pieces of American history. In addition to housing and caring for countless pieces of archival material, the LOC also does a wonderful job at educating the public, including a series of concerts and lectures.
On Friday, October 24 the St. Lawrence String Quartet, featuring pianist Pedja Muzijevic, will perform Amy Beach’s Quintet for piano and strings in F sharp minor, op. 67. For more information about the concert check the LOC website (apparently the concert is already sold out, but rush tickets are available!)
In its three performances this weekend, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra took a monumental step in bringing to light an 1873 Overture by Swedish composer Elfrida Andrée (1841-1929). The concerts have been led by guest conductor Arild Remmereit. Devoted readers will remember that we honored Remmereit and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in the spring of 2012, for having programmed works by women in every concert that season, including some monumental works like Amy Beach’s Symphony. We gave him and the RPO the AMY award in recognition of this brilliant programming and artistic excellence. Remmereit continues this visionary work this weekend in Baltimore, in what is the East Coast premiere and only the third modern performance of the Concert Ouverture in D major by Elfrida Andrée.
Andrée’s work has been edited and championed by the musicologist and violinist, Dr. Susan Pickett (of Whitman College in eastern WA) for many years. The Norwegian Remmereit shares Scandinavian identity with Andrée, and her music is on the program this weekend with works by Mozart, and her contemporary, Tchaikovsky.
Andrée was a remarkable pioneer, serving as a professional organist in Stockholm and Göteborg (Gothenburg), although she first had to work to change a law, so that she would be permitted to do so. Andrée most likely conducted the premiere herself in its premiere in Berlin in 1888. The work then languished in an archive for more than 100 years until Dr. Pickett worked to edit it and have it performed in 1998 by the Walla Walla Symphony in Washington. The Swedish radio Symphony then performed it in 1999. The performances this weekend are only the third modern performances, so there is quite a lot of excitement around bring this orchestral work to light.
Congratulations to Maestro Remmereit, Dr. Susan Pickett and the Baltimore Symphony for letting audiences share in this remarkable and majestic Ouverture. A recording of the Swedish Radio Symphony playing the Overture can be heard on YouTube.
Fiona Maddocks of The Guardian has a review up of a new CD of Helen Grime’s works. The recording, titled Night Songs, features the Clarinet concerto, Into the Faded Air, A Cold Spring, Everyone Sang, and Near Midnight – all works that make references to poems.
You can read the review here, and listen below to the premiere performance of Night Songs which was a commission for the BBC Proms in 2012.
The League of American Orchestras together with EarsShot, and with support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, have announced the first commissions of new symphonic works by women composers. The new commissions, which were first announced in February, comes from the same foundation which also seeks out new operas by women composers.
We at Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy are delighted to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2014 Performance Grants to support the works of women being performed. Information about the and the application form is available online.
Grants will be awarded in amounts between $500 and $1,000 to ensembles that demonstrate a commitment to including works by historic and contemporary women in their programming. Funds will be available to programs planned for the 2015 and 2016 calendar years – and half of the $20,000 allocated for Performance Grants will be reserved for student or youth ensembles.
The last time we offered Performance Grants, in 2012, we were delighted with the response and the range of works that were performed, and are looking forward to supporting even more inclusive programming in the coming seasons.
Applications will be accepted until November 19 – so spread the word and encourage your favorite professional, community, or youth ensemble to apply and include diverse programming in their upcoming concert seasons!