ROCHESTER, NY ― The music of female composers ― prominent, emerging, and even obscure ― takes center stage later this month as the Eastman School of Music presents a weeklong festival celebrating women in music.
The School’s second annual Women in Music Festival, presented with support from Maureen L. Toombs RE/MAX Realty Group, runs March 27-31. It will feature Eastman students and faculty (both male and female) performing a series of daily lunchtime concerts throughout the week from noon-1 p.m. in the Main Hall of the School (26 Gibbs St.), Schmitt Hall (26 Gibbs St.), and the Atrium of Miller Center (27 Gibbs St., formerly Eastman Place). All concerts are free and open to the public.
“This new Festival is a celebration of women involved in all aspects of music ― including composition, performance, and scholarship,” said Sylvie Beaudette, assistant professor of chamber music at Eastman who is coordinating the festival with Eastman graduate student and pianist Sophia Ahmad. “There is an amazing body of musical works by women that are rarely performed or talked about. Our goal is to showcase some of these.”
Works by such noted composers as Clara Schumann, Joan Tower, Amy Beach, Libby Larsen, Thea Musgrave, and Shulamit Ran will be performed during the festival, as will the work several female student composers at Eastman. As part of a University-wide effort to commemorate the centennial of the death of Susan B. Anthony, this year’s festival will highlight music from her time, including suffrage songs, salon, concert and popular music.
Each daily concert is built around a specific theme, featuring a collection of mostly short (3-10 minute) musical works performed by Eastman students, ensembles, and faculty. Each selection will be introduced by the reading of a female poet’s work. The daily themes are as follows, and a complete schedule of works and performers will soon be available online at www.esm.rochester.edu/wmf.
- Mon., March 27 “Two Continents Meeting ” Eastman’s Main Hall
- Tues., March 28 “Exotic Influences” Miller Center Atrium
- Wed., March 29 “Music in the Time of Susan B. Anthony” Eastman’s Main Hall
- Thurs., March 30 “The World is Our Village” Schmitt Hall
- Fri., March 31 “Music of Our Time” Eastman’s Main Hall
A special panel discussion on issues relating to women in music will be held on Friday, March 31, 1:30-3:30 in Ciminelli Formal Lounge at 100 Gibbs Street. The panelists will be Ellen Koskoff (Professor of Ethnomusicology, Eastman School of Music), Donna Brink Fox (Professor of Music Education, Eastman School of Music), and Eileen Strempel (Professor of Music & Assistant to the Dean of Fine Arts, Syracuse University).
In addition, the Sibley Music Library will mount a special exhibit during the festival entitled "Rochester Music in the Time of Susan B. Anthony.”
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Note to editors: Sylvie Beaudette and others involved in the festival are available for interviews.