Women's Philharmonic Advocacy

Monday Link Round Up: August 13, 2018

by sarah - August 13th, 2018

News and music to start your week!

Hugely important piece by composer and musician Elizabeth Baker at New Music Box. In part:

Elizabeth A. Baker

Elizabeth A. Baker, photo from https://soundcloud.com/elizabethabakermusic

The problem continues when organizations promote “diversity initiatives” using only images of cisgender white women. What these actions and inactions tell women who look like me—women of color, and individuals for whom I am an ally, including non-binary and queer women—is that our voices and, more poignantly, our faces are not welcome in this conversation. Personally, it has the effect of taking my agency as a woman away from me. When people mention the breakthroughs of women composers, I do not identify with these achievements as a part of the evolution that paves my path in the music industry. The more I talk to other women of color hailing from nations across the globe, the more I understand how the subconscious presentation of diversity framed exclusively as a “middle-class white cisgender woman’s problem” has the ripple effect of silencing women of varied ethnic backgrounds and gender identities.

Samson Baughman writes at I Care if You Listen about representation matters on the concert stage even outside program choices.  Speaking from personal experience, Baughman offers perspective as “the” black musician in an ensemble, and offers readers ways to support diverse musicians and ensembles moving forward.

Lisa Houston writes in The San Francisco Classical Voice about the work of Missy Mazzoli and, specifically, her ventures into opera.  Learn more about Mazzoli’s performing career, including with her own ensembles, and her influences for operatic writing.

The Egyptian orchestra made up entirely of blind women is continuing to impress.  Read more, and watch a video of the Light and Hope Orchestra, at TRTWorld.

BBC 3 and the Ulster Orchestra (in Belfast) continue with a series of free concerts featuring major works by women, including Jessie Montgomery, Nina C. Young, Roxanna Panufnik and Clara Schumann.

What have we missed?  Opinions or comments?  Let us know!  email [email protected]



Monday Link Round Up: July 16, 2018

by sarah - July 16th, 2018

News and music to start your week!

The 2018 BBC Proms are off and running (ICYMI here are the statistics of women’s representation we put together).  Anna Meredith had a piece presented at First Night at the Proms and spoke to Fiona Maddocks about her work.  Read more at The Guardian.

In response to the #MeToo movement, professional music organizations in the UK are working to create a code of conduct to eradicate sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination.  A joint initiative between the Musicians Union and Incorporated Society of Musicians, you can read more at The Stage.

NBC Nightly News took on the topic of diversity in American Orchestras.  How great to have national attention on this pervasive problem!  Check out the NBC website for the article, and video clip, including interviews with many musicians.

National Sawdust (the innovative music venue in Brooklyn) explores the ways in which Twitter emboldens all trolls – in particular in attacks against women composers, performers, and scholars. The catalyst for the article was a confrontation by Shelley Washington and Gemma Peacocke with a troll who disparaged the role of women composers. John Hong speaks with both Washington and Peacocke.

composer Missy Mazzoli

On July 2 we shared the exciting news that Missy Mazzoli was named Composer In Residence for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. A few days later, Mazzoli spoke to WRTI about the importance of mentoring young women composers.  Read the conversation here.

The Dream Unfinished, the amazing activist orchestra, is building up to the finale of their SANCTUARY season.  The July 27 concert  features music by Tania Leon, George Walker, Vijay Iyer, Kareem Roustom and Huang Ruo. Speakers from NYC’s immigrant rights community will share their stories.



Monday Link Round Up: July 2, 2018

by sarah - July 2nd, 2018

News and music to start your week!

Congratulations to  Missy Mazzoli who was named as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s new Composer in Residence! We look forward to how her influence, and music, impact the CSO programming in the coming seasons!  A new commission for the CSO will premiere in the 2019-2020 season.  Three cheers for this exciting honor!

The New York Times spoke to Camryn Cowan and Jordan Millers – two 11-year-old girls who had their work premiered by the New York Philharmonic.  The girls were part of the Philharmonic’s Very Young Composers initiative, and received a great review by Anthony Tommasini.  Read the article to get a chance to listen to both pieces!


The 1994 recording of Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers has been re-released — and a newly staged version will be offered this fall by Arcadian Opera in Buckinghamshire, UK.  Both of these performances tie in to a fascinating discussion about Smyth and the score of The Wreckers.  You can listen on BBC Radio 4: Tales from the Stave! (not sure how long the program will be available). Smyth is something of a legendary figure, and the program raises the issue that her vivid personality was rather easily caricatured.  The focus needs to be more on her music, and yet the lack of performing materials makes this a challenge.  The Wreckers is the best-known of her six operas, yet there is no definitive edition of the work.  Conductor Odaline de la Martinez discusses the score with musicologist Sophie Fuller, and tenor/conductor Justin Lavender.



Monday Link Round Up: May 14, 2018

by sarah - May 14th, 2018

News and music to start your week!

In honor of Mother’s Day, WQXR has a series of conversations with women composers about motherhood.  Hear from Sarah Kirkland Snider, Valerie Coleman, and Marilyn Shrude here.

Classical FM has a brief history of women gaining entry to professional orchestras.  Read on here.

Congratulations to conductor Karina Canellakis who, at just 36 years old, was just named the next chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.  Read more at The New York Times.

The New York Times also has a great piece about OrchKids – the free after-school program begun by Marin Alsop and The Baltimore Symphony 10 years ago to bring opportunity and music education to underserved children.  The program has grown from 30 students to over 1,300, with alums of the program going on to achieve great things.  Don’t miss the article, and amazing photos here.

Missy Mazzoli is interviewed by Ricky O’Bannon at 21CM about the current state of contemporary American opera – and where the genre may be going.  Read more about DIY Opera Composers here.


Monday Link Round Up: April 9, 2018

by sarah - April 9th, 2018

News to start your week!

Don’t miss this great piece by Kendra Preston Leonard about the myths surrounding composer and pedagogue Nadia Boulanger!  Read on at Dr. Leonard’s website here.

Composer and clarinetist Derek Bermel writes about diversity in the American Orchestra repertoire at NewMusicBox, and how to correct the systemic imbalances.  Read his piece, Lift Every Orchestral Voice, here.

CutCommon has an interview with composer Liza Lim, who just received the Don Banks Award to recognize her outstanding contribution to the Australian and international music communities.

NPR reviews a new video released by violinist Olivia De Prato featuring Missy Mazzoli’s composition, Vespers.  Read more here, and watch the video below:

Philip de Oliveira has a great editorial on the 100th season of the Cleveland orchestra in the Cleveland Scene.  The title sums it up pretty concisely, “After 100 years, the Cleveland Orchestra Continues to Ignore Women, Minorities, and Living Composers”, but don’t let that stop you from reading it in full.