Jennifer Higdon is composer-in-residence at Eastman School of Music’s Women in Music Festival this week, “A celebration of women involved in all aspects of music, including composition, performance, teaching, scholarship, and administration.” Now in its 10th year, the festival features works of historical and living women composers through completely free concerts performed by Eastman groups as well as guest artists.
In 2010, Higdon won the Pulitzer Prize for her Violin Concerto as well as the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical composition for her work Percussion Concerto. Her works have been featured on numerous Grammy-winning albums. Her most recent releases include a CD of string music by the Serafin Quartet (2013), works performed by Gary Graffman and the Lark Quartet (2013), and the symphonic band version of Higdon’s Soprano Sax Concerto (2012). She is presently writing an opera based on Charles Frazier’s book Cold Mountain, scheduled to be premiered in 2015 by Santa Fe Opera.
Dr. Higdon currently holds the Milton L. Rock Chair in Composition Studies at The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
“There are a lot of women composers out there writing, but not a lot of them are getting scheduled,” Higdon says. “(It has) more to do with people being aware that that music is around and giving it a chance.”
View the complete festival schedule: http://www.esm.rochester.edu/wmf/events/
The Poulenc Trio is staging a FREE concert featuring works of Laura Kaminsky and other composers in honor of Women’s History Month.
Read about the trio: http://poulenctrio.org/
When: This Sunday, March 23rd
When: 6:30 pm
Where: National Gallery of Art, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC
The New York Times lauds Kaminsky as “an ear for the new and interesting” and her works as “colorful and harmonically sharp-edged,” whose “musical language is compounded of hymns, blues, and gestures not unlike those of Shostakovich.” Her work is filled with social and political themes, and connection with the natural world.
Check out her website: http://www.laurakaminsky.com/
“A husband and wife who are both composers: how do you envisage that?
Such a strange relationship between rivals: do you have any idea how ridiculous it would appear, can you imagine the loss of self-respect it would later cause us both? If, at a time when you should be attending to household duties or fetching me something I urgently needed, or if, as you wrote, you wish to relieve me of life’s trivia- if at such a moment, you were befallen by “inspiration”: what then?
…You must renounce everything superficial and conventional, all vanity and outward show (concerning your individuality and your work) – you must surrender yourself to me unconditionally, make every detail of your future life completely dependent on my needs.”
–A letter from Gustav Mahler to his wife-to-be Alma in 1901.
What do you think? How many composers turned in their music for their husband’s careers?