Women's Philharmonic Advocacy

Willamette Falls Plays Wittry

by sarah - June 2nd, 2017

This Sunday, June 4, the Willamette Falls Symphony in Oregon City, Oregon will perform Mist by Diane Wittry.  The ensemble, which is lead by Dr. Mark Perlman, is a nonprofit community orchestra, and we are delighted to support this performance with a WPA Performance Grant.

Wittry is primarily recognized internationally as conductor and clinician, guiding young composers in seminars across the country.  However, in recent years, Wittry has also devoted her time and attention to composition – the results of which have lead to international recognition.

Learn more about Mist on Wittry’s website – and for those of us who are unable to attend this weekend’s performance by the Willamette Falls Symphony, have a listen below to a performance by the Slovak State Philharmonic:

Congratulations to WPA Performance Grant Winners!

by sarah - April 12th, 2017

Since establishing our Performance Grants in 2012 we have been delighted with the ever growing enthusiasm and innovativeness of each application.  As we continue to reach out to new ensembles, the WPA Board of Directors agreed last year to begin offering the grants twice annually (Spring and Fall) to best suit the programming needs of not only traditional ensembles, but also Festivals and Summer Series.

Our first round of Spring Applications were just received, and we are delighted to award funding to ensembles from across the United States.  The best applications included works by more than one woman, included one historic and one contemporary work, and demonstrated robust outreach efforts, whether through digital means (educational videos, podcasts, etc.) or through community connections (patterning with other organizations, composer events in classrooms, etc.)

The winners include:

Bay Area Rainbow Symphony
San Francisco, CA

Boston Landmarks Orchestra
Boston, MA

Burlington Chamber Orchestra
Shelburne, VT

Cabrillo Festival Orchestra
Santa Cruz, CA

California Chamber Orchestra
Murrieta, CA

Chicago Composers Orchestra
Chicago, IL

DuPage Symphony Orchestra
Naperville, IL

Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra
Winter Park, FL

National String Symphonia
Frederick, MD

New York Classical Players
New York, NY

Oakland Symphony
Oakland, CA

Seattle Collaborative Orchestra
Seattle, WA

Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra
Seattle, WA

The Dream Unfinished
Brooklyn, NY

Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra
New York, NY

Congratulations to all of the winners!  We look forward to great concerts in the coming months, and more diverse and inclusive programs in future seasons!

Look for information about the Fall application cycle in September!  (And subscribe to our Newsletter to be sure you don’t miss the announcement!)  You can always reach out with any questions you have about programming ideas or accessibility of historic & contemporary publications at [email protected].

New Music this Weekend

by sarah - February 17th, 2017

More great music is happening this weekend, and we are thrilled to be able to support both the North/South Chamber Orchestra and the Willamette Falls Symphony with Performance Grants for their outstanding work!  On Sunday, February 19, both ensembles will hold concerts featuring new music

The North/South Chamber Orchestra is holding their Midwinter Fest concert in New York City, as part of the Composers Now Festival – which is a free even to the public.  The event will include Transfigurations by Lan-In Winnie Yang,  and Margarita Zelenaia‘s I Believe.  More information about the concert available here, as well as at BroadwayWorld.com – and have a listen to Zelenaia’s work below:


The Willamette Falls Symphony in Oregon City, Oregon will perform Margaret Brouwer‘s Pluto as part of a concert titled, “The Planets and Heavens”.  This great work was written in two versions, with option women’s chorus.  Read more about the origins of this work, Brouwer’s inspirations, and listen to recordings of both versions on Brouwer’s website.  Find out more information and purchase tickets for Sunday’s concert here.

Celebrating the Music of China with Intersection

by sarah - February 8th, 2017

 Intersection is a contemporary music ensemble founded by Kelly Corcoran, who conducts the ensemble.  Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the group strives to educate and challenge audiences as to what a classical music experience can be.  It is especially notable that this contemporary musical ensemble specifically strives to engage with young audiences, introducing contemporary music in a way that is engaging, accessible, and will help build an audience for generations to come!

We are thrilled to have awarded Intersection with a Performance Grant for their coming concert, titled Dragon Harmony.  The program, which will be heard February 11 and 12, will feature works by several contemporary Chinese and Chinese American composers, including a new commission by Wu Fei titled If I was a Batman Queen.

Also included is Chen Yi’s Wu Yu – which you hear a piece of below:


As we highlight the importance of diversity throughout the arts, and all that we do, this is a fantastic event that exemplifies these ideals.  Both Wu Fei and Chen Yi will be present to interact with musicians and audience members at the concert, and educational outreach efforts include opportunities for students who perform on traditional Chinese instruments.  Find out more information, and purchase tickets, here.

Concerts of Old and New Music

by sarah - January 18th, 2017

We’re always thrilled to share announcements of coming concerts featuring works by women composers!  This week we are especially thrilled to see two ensembles who are embracing contemporary and historic composers in their performances.

The Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra will be performing at an Alumni Even in Chicago on January 21 and at the college on January 24.  Every work on the program was composed by a woman.  The pieces include Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3, Karen LeFrak’s Ivan’s Song, and Nkeiru Okoye’s Songs of Harriet Tubman and Invitation to a Die-In.  We at WPA are thrilled to support this concert in part through a WPA Performance Grant!  The excellent programming demonstrates how the diverse, engaging, and relevant women’s work in music continues to be – and how more of it deserves to be heard on concert stages.  Find out more information about the concert in Chicago here, and the free event at Mount Holyoke College here.

Also this weekend, the Michigan Philharmonic, led by Nan Washburn, will perform Judith Shatin’s Spin and Louise Farrenc’s Nonet in E-Flat Major, Op. 38, on January 20 and January 22.

The concert, titled “Miniature Masterpieces” also includes Serenade for Flute, Harp, and String Quartet by William Grant Still – an often ignored African American composer.  Find out more information, and purchase tickets, here.

And be sure to have a listen to some of the music being performed this weekend below: