Eastman’s Third Annual 'Women In Music' Festival Features Week of Lunchtime Concerts Celebrating Music by Women Composers, Including Composer-in-Residence Tania León

March 16, 2007

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Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY ― No less than 10 centuries of music by 38 women — from the medieval chants of Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) to the pop tunes of Billie Holiday, Indigo Girls, and Pink — takes center stage later this month during the Eastman School of Music’s weeklong festival celebrating women in music. For the first time this year, the Women in Music Festival welcomes a composer-in-residence, the noted Cuban-American composer Tania León.

The School’s third annual Women in Music Festival runs March 26-30, 2007. 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 Organ Recital Hall (26 Gibbs St.), and the Atrium of Miller Center (27 Gibbs St.). All concerts are free and open to the public.

“This Festival is a celebration of women involved in all aspects of music ― including composition, performance, and scholarship,” says Sylvie Beaudette, Eastman School of Music Assistant Professor of Chamber Music and Accompanying, and Women in Music Festival Director. “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. The Women in Music Festival integrates music written by women into the mainstream of music and into the consciousness of the general public.”

Beaudette is coordinating the festival with Eastman graduate student and pianist Sophia Ahmad.

Among the contemporary composers featured are current Eastman students Michaela Eremiasova, Beata Golec, Vera Ivanova, Jung Sun Kang, Elizabeth A. Kelly, and Erica Seguine.

  • Monday, March 26, Eastman’s Main Hall – Timeless Voices
  • Tuesday, March 27, Miller Center Atrium – Sirens’ Voices
  • Wednesday, March 28, Eastman’s Main Hall — All Tania León program
  • Thursday, March 29, Schmitt Organ Recital Hall – Ancient & New Voices
  • Friday, March 30, Eastman’s Main Hall – Poetic Voices

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. A complete schedule of works and performers is available at https://www.esm.rochester.edu/wmf/schedule_brief.php.

The 2007 Women in Music Festival also features the music of Tania León, the festival’s first composer-in-residence. An evening concert on Monday, March 26 at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Ingle Auditorium includes the Rochester premiere of Atwood Songs, with music by Tania León set to the poetry of Margaret Atwood. León’s new work, written specifically for this occasion, was co-commissioned by Eastman’s Hanson Institute for American Music and Syracuse University’s The College of Arts and Sciences. As part of her residency, Ms. León will conduct master classes and lectures and attend rehearsals with Eastman, RIT, and SU students, including an evening master class facilitated by video-conference technology between Eastman and Syracuse students. She will also make a presentation to high school students from the Rochester City School District. Tania Leon’s residency is made possible by a grant from the New York State Music Fund; for more information on her residency and on the fund, visit www.esm.rochester.edu/news/?id=339.

Tania leon

Tania León

Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood

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Note to editors: Sylvie Beaudette and others involved in the festival are available for interviews.