February 27, 2013

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057, hsnihur@esm.rochester.edu)

Annual Festival Celebrates the Contributions, Achievements of Women in all Areas of Music

UPDATED March 13, 2013

Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Melinda Wagner, whose work has earned comparisons to music giants Elliott Carter and Olivier Messiaen, will be in-residence at the Eastman School of Music for this year’s Women in Music Festival. She will give a symposium, coach students, and attend rehearsals and performances of her works, including an all-Wagner concert by the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic.

Running from March 24 through 30, the 2013 Women in Music Festival features noontime and evening concerts at venues throughout the region, including Eastman, Nazareth College, Hochstein School of Music and Dance, First Universalist Church, and, for the first time, SUNY Geneseo. Besides the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic, performers include Eastman faculty, students, and alumni; ensemble.TWENTY.21; and local women poets, who will present readings of their own works. All of the events are open to the public, with a schedule, background information, and venue directions available online at http://www.esm.rochester.edu/wmf/.

“Each year is different because of what people bring to the festival,” said Assistant Professor of Chamber Music and Accompanying Sylvie Beaudette, festival founder and artistic director. “We’ve created a positive and inspiring event that people want to join in.” The festival fields an average of 150 performers per year, and presents music by an average of 35 composers, including Eastman students.

This year’s event kicks off Sunday, March 24, with an Eastman Faculty Artist recital by Carol Rodland, associate professor of viola, with pianist Tatevik Mokatsian, performing works written by Clara Schumann, Augusta Read Thomas, and Rebecca Clarke. Eastman Professor of Piano Tony Caramia presents a lecture-recital Tuesday, March 26, on American musician, prolific composer, and lyricist Dana Suesse, who was called “The Girl Gershwin” for such popular hits as “My Silent Love” and “You Ought to Be in Pictures,” but who also wrote orchestral works and concertos.

On Wednesday, March 27, SUNY Geneseo will host a program of instrumental and vocal performances of works ranging from 12th century composer Hildegard to 20th century composer Amy Beach. New music performers ensemble.TWENTY.21, resident faculty contemporary music ensemble at the Hochstein School, will present a program of works by Wagner, Joan Tower, and Sun Mi Ro on Thursday, March 28.  PLEASE NOTE: The March 28 evening concert with ensemble.TWENTY.21 is cancelled.

The 2013 Women in Music Festival wraps up on Saturday, March 30, when the Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic presents Wagner’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion, along with her work Little Moonhead, based on a Bach Brandenburg Concerto.

The festival also features five noontime concerts of works written by women composers in a broad range of music styles, with local women poets reading from their works.

Wagner, whose work has been praised for its emotion as well as its structure, has received commissions from the New York Philharmonic; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; the Barlow, Fromm, and Koussevitzky Foundations; the American Brass Quintet; and from guitarist David Starobin. Among her commissions for the Chicago Symphony was Extremity of Sky for pianist Emanuel Ax. Writing in the Washington Post, Tim Page noted the piano concerto’s “prismatic color and romantic fantasy,” saying, “Imagine Elliott Carter and Olivier Messiaen teaming up to write a concerto, add a certain lithe sense of mystery that is Wagner’s own and you’ll have some idea of Extremity of Sky.”

Wagner’s chamber works have been performed by the New York New Music Ensemble, Network for New Music, the Empyrean and Left Coast Ensembles, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and other leading organizations. She has also written for band: Scamp, commissioned by the United States Marine Band, and a band version of 57/7 Dash. Wagner has taught at Brandeis and Syracuse Universities and Swarthmore and Hunter Colleges, and lectured at many schools including Yale, Cornell, Juilliard, and Mannes. Her honors also include three ASCAP Young Composer Awards, a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

First held in 2005, Eastman’s Women in Music Festival is a celebration of women involved in all aspects of music, including composition, performance, teaching, scholarship, and administration. The event has grown from a modest noontime concert series at the School to encompass daytime and evening performances across the region, giving local audiences more opportunities to attend and enjoy the activities.

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Calendar Listings:

Sunday, March 24

Eastman Faculty Artist Series: Carol Rodland, viola. With Tatevik Mokatsian, piano; Patricia Sunwoo, violin; Mimi Hwang, cello. This event opens the Eastman School of Music’s 2013 Women in Music Festival. Clara Schumann: Drei Romanzen; Augusta Read Thomas: Incantation; Rebecca Clarke: Sonata for Viola and Piano; Dvořàk: Quartet in E Flat for Piano and Strings.  Generously sponsored by Patricia-Ward Baker.

3 PM

Hatch Recital Hall, 433 East Main St.

Tickets: $10 (free with UR ID); sold one hour before concert at the door only.

Monday, March 25

Women in Music Festival Opening Concert

Noon

Eastman School of Music Main Hall, 26 Gibbs St.

Free

Tuesday, March 26

Women in Music Festival Concert

12:15 PM

Wilmot Hall, Nazareth College, 4245 East Ave.

Free

Tuesday, March 26

Women in Music Festival – Dana Suesse: The Girl Gershwin. Lecture recital with Tony Caramia, piano

7 PM

Hatch Recital Hall, 433 East Main St.

Free

Wednesday, March 27

Women in Music Festival Noontime Concert

Noon

Sproull Atrium, Miller Center, 25 Gibbs St.

Free

Wednesday, March 27

Women in Music Festival at SUNY Geneseo. Faculty and students from the Eastman School of Music, Eastman Community Music School, and SUNY Geneseo perform works of women composers from the 12th through 20th centuries.

8 PM

Wadsworth Auditorium

Free

Thursday, March 28

Women in Music Festival: Eastman at Washington Square

12:15 PM

First Universalist Church, 150 South Clinton Ave.

Free

Thursday, March 28

Women in Music Festival: Composition Symposium with composer-in-residence Melinda Wagner

3:30 to 5 PM

Room 209, Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs St.

Free

Thursday, March 28         THIS CONCERT HAS BEEN CANCELLED

Women in Music Festival: ensemble.TWENTY.21. Abra Bush, soprano. Music of Joan Tower, Melinda Wagner, and Sun Mi Ro.

7 PM

Hochstein School of Music and Dance Performance Hall, 50 North Plymouth Ave.

Free

Friday, March 29

Women in Music Festival Noontime Concert

Noon

Sproull Atrium, Miller Center, 25 Gibbs St.

Free

Saturday, March 30

Women in Music Festival: Eastman Community Music School Faculty and Student Concert

11 AM

Sproull Atrium, Miller Center, 25 Gibbs St.

Free

Saturday, March 30

Women in Music Festival: Greater Rochester Women’s Philharmonic. Nancy Strelau, conductor; Bonita Boyd, Emlyn Johnson, Johanna Gruskin, flute; Timothy Lee, violin. Melinda Wagner: Concerto for Flute Strings, and Percussion, Little Moonhead.

2 PM

Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.

Free