Women's Philharmonic Advocacy

Monday Link Round Up: August 6, 2018

by sarah - August 6th, 2018

News to start your week!

What better way to tackle the new week than a fantastic conversation?  Elizabeth Blair speaks with Emily Doolittle in the most recent episode of Listening to Ladies.  Learn more at the website, with lots of links and music, stream the episode through your favorite podcast app, or in the player below!

Calls for Participation are open for the 2019 Women Composers Festival of Hartford!  There are seeking compositions for the Ensemble-In-Residence, composers & performers for the annual Music Marathon, and presenters & performers for the Women Composers Forum.  Learn more at their website – and spread the word!

In a delightful change of programming, and response to national outcry at their predictable and stogy programming, The Philadelphia Orchestra has altered their plans for the 2018-2019 season to include works by two women composers.  They will perform the US Premiere of Perspectives by Stacey Brown in November, and Masquerade by Anna Clyne in June.  Read more at The Philadelphia Inquirer.  The story was also covered by NPR.

Podcaster (and pianist) Kai Talim let us know about his far-ranging conversation with conductor Mei-Ann Chen in a recent episode of Skip the Repeat.  We interviewed in Maestro Chen in 2013 when she was busy leading performances of music by Florence PriceMei-Ann Chen continues to build her conducting career with Asian and European engagements, as well as continuing as Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta. But, as she discusses with Kai Talim, her big professional breakthrough was her appointment as Musical Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic.


And, from the blogosphere, we ran across Heather Roche’s report on the Royal Philharmonic Society’s conducting workshop for professional women musicians new to conducting.  Roche was pleased to be invited to apply, but taken aback that the workshop included no repertoire by female composers.  Her response was this post of five suggestions of pre-1950 works by women.  We applaud her ideas heartily, but also want to emphasize that all conducting classes — not just ones for women — should include music by women.  OK! Now we’d better get busy sending that message to directors of conducting classes!
We would love to know what you think!  Email at [email protected]

Monday Link Round Up: June 25, 2018

by sarah - June 25th, 2018

News and music to start your week!

We were very excited to hear a story on NPR’s All Things Considered about the lack of women’s music heard at the symphony.  The piece explores the current statistics in conversation with Grammy and Pulitzer Prize winning composer Jennifer Higdon.  Listen below – and read WPA President Liane Curtis’s reaction to the story here.

The website I Care if You Listen has a conversation with composer Ellen Reid – specifically about her work as a co-founder of the Luna Composition Lab, which offers mentorship by and for female and nonbinary composers.

Emily Hogstad of Song of the Lark writes about forgotten composer Adela Maddison.   Maddison’s 1910 opera “Der Talisman” was performed in Leipzig to enthusiastic reviews.  Hogstad links to the recent recording of her Piano Quintet.  A fascinating read about the complex histories of women in music, and the intricate research processes necessary so that their stories can be remembered.

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford has announced their 2019 Featured Artists!  The Ensemble-in-Residence is The Nouveau Classical Project, and all-women contemporary classical music ensemble based in New York.  The Composer-in-Residence is Jennifer Jolley!

Last week NPR reported on the Barbershop Harmony Society changing their 80 year old policy to allow women to join.  Founded in 1938 the originally all-white organization opened to people of color in 1963, but it took until 2018 to also extend admittance to women.

Monday Link Round Up: June 11, 2018

by sarah - June 11th, 2018

News and music to start your week!

The Library of Congress blog, In the Muse, highlights Women Composers Hiding in Plain Sight. Written by Music Reference Specialist Melissa E. Wertheimer, she discusses a fantastic photograph she found, and the backstory she uncovered, in the Library of Congress archives!  (Spoiler: the photograph and story features one of our favorite composers, Amy Beach, as well as an early example of women composers coming together to organize and support each other!)

On An Overgrown Path discusses the institutional discrimination faced by conductors – and specifically the case of Rudolph Dunbar, the first black conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic whose career was limited because of the color of his skin.

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford, which has been highlighting the work of women in music since 2001, has just announced the opportunity to support the organization in a new way.  Supporting WCFH by becoming a member means you will receive advanced, and reduced, ticket prices to the annual Festival, and your name (and website) will be listed on the Festival website.

Thea Musgrave, foreground; Queen Elizabeth, right; Judith Weir, left in background

Celebrations for Thea Musgrave’s 90th birthday are continuing, with many eager to extend birthday well wishes – including Queen Elizabeth II!  Musgrave was awarded the Queen’s medal for music as the 13th recipient since it was founded in 2005.  Read on here.

It was just announced that the Welsh National Opera is beginning a new program that will award one aspiring woman, age 19 to 35, a conducting residency.  With the intention of working to rebalance the gender divide in the classical music world, the residency with include mentoring and opportunities to work with the WNO Orchestra with different styles of repertoire over 18 months.  More information is available here.

Monday Link Round Up: April 23, 2018

by sarah - April 23rd, 2018

News to start your week!

The Guardian has a conversation with conductor Marin Alsop, who, it was just announced, will again be conducting in the 2018 Proms season.

A new initiative created by the Sphinx Organization, the New World Symphony, and the League of American Orchestras is working to create more racial diversity in American ensembles.  As the New York Times article explains, orchestras are among the least racially diverse workplaces in the United States, with African-American musicians only making up 1.8% of American orchestra performers.

Conductor JoAnn Falletta has announced that she will be leaving the Virginia Symphony at the end of the 2019-2020 season, seeing the ensemble through it’s centennial celebration.  She will be leaving the Symphony after almost 30 years at the baton.  Read more at the Daily Press.

The Boston Globe speaks with composer Yu-Hui Chang, who is also a professor at Brandeis University.   Her newest orchestral work, Pixelandia, was inspired by video games. Boston Modern Orchestra Project premiered the work on Saturday.

And in case you missed attending the weekend of concerts, read the wrap up of the 2018 Women Composers Festival of Hartford on their blog


Monday Link Round Up: April 2, 2018

by sarah - April 2nd, 2018

News to start your week!

The Women Composers Festival of Hartford is getting ready to kick off this weekend!  Learn more about this exciting and engaging weekend on their website – including lectures, premieres, and many, many hours of music!

Jessie Rosen, President and CEO of The League of American Composers, shares important thoughts about the problem surrounding the lack of diversity in American orchestras.  In thoughtful conversations with Chris Jenkins, Alex Laing, Gary Ginstling, and Cecilia Olusola Tribble they posit possible paths forward to be inclusive and representative.  Read more here.

Read Amy Bauer’s article about the music of Estonian composer Helena Tulve at Musicology Now, the American Musicological Association blog.

The Stage, which reports on theater in London, shares the conversations with women who are interested in more equality in the West End pit orchestras.  Right now, no show includes a woman musical director.