Gail Archer, Grammy-nominated, internationally renowned concert organist and recording artist with seven solo albums, will perform a concert filled with music her latest album “The Muse’s Voice: A Celebration of Women Composers,” this Saturday at Bruton Parish Church in Williamsburg, Virginia.
As one of the few female artists in a largely male-dominated field, Archer advocates for female organists and composers. This concert will be featuring the works of composers including Jennifer Higdon, Nadia Boulanger, Jeanne Demessieux and Judith Bingham.
Congratulations to the eight composers selected for a $12,500 grant from Opera Grants for Female Composers!
Opera Grants for Female Composers supports the development of new operas by women, to individual composers and to opera companies producing their work.
“Opera Grants for Female Composers is a two-year project, with a different focus each year. In this first year, Discovery Grants identify, support and help develop the work of female composers writing for the operatic medium, raising their visibility and promoting awareness of their compositions. In addition to financial assistance, grant recipients will be introduced to leaders in the field through a feature in Opera America Magazine, and at future New Works Forum meetings and annual conferences. Supported works will be considered for presentation as part of the New Works Forum in January 2015 and New Works Samplers at future annual conferences.”
Happy Birthday to composer Julia Amanda Perry (1924-1979)!
Julia Perry, prolific and accomplished composer of neoclassical music, studied at Westminster Choir College and the Julliard School of Music. Perry was the recipient of two Guggenheim fellowships: one to study with Lugia Dallapiccola in Florence and the other with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. After studying in Europe for several years, she returned to the United States to teach at Florida A & M College (now University), and later became a professor at Atlanta University.
Stabat Mater, her first major work, was released in 1951. Her opera “The Cask of Amontillado” was staged three years later, premiering at Columbia University. She also wrote “Homage to Vivaldi” for orchestra.
By the late 1960s, Perry’s works were widely praised. Her music was performed by the New York Philharmonic and other major orchestras. Over the course of her life, she completed 12 symphonies, two concertos, and three operas, in addition to numerous smaller pieces, and received numerous awards and honors from institutions including the National Association of Negro Musicians, the Boulanger Grand Prix, and the National Institute of Arts and Letters.