This is the ninth installment in our Women Composer HerStory series, and our first one for 2022! Join us on the 15th of each month for more!
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Today’s performance excerpt features the music of Alex Shapiro. Her duet Re:pair is a lovely piece with a quirky, self-referential title. This arrangement of the piece features our 2014 guest artists, Oboe Duo Agosto.
More about the composer: Alex Shapiro aligns note after note with the hope that at least a few of them might actually sound good next to each other. Her persistence at this activity, as well as at non-fiction writing, public speaking, wildlife photography, and the shameless instigation of insufferable puns on Facebook, has led to a happy life. Created from a broad musical palette that defies genre, Alex’s acoustic and electroacoustic works are performed and broadcast daily across the U.S. and internationally. Ms. Shapiro’s pieces are published by Activist Music, and can be found on over twenty commercial releases from record labels around the world. More about Alex Shapiro can be found at www.alexshapiro.org.
More about Oboe Duo Agosto: Oboe Duo Agosto was created in 2009 by Ling-Fei Kang, oboe and Charles Huang, oboe and English horn. Their aim is to promote the sound of the oboe and the instrument’s popularity through original oboe duos, arranged pieces, and newly commissioned works.
Based in Connecticut, U. S. A., Oboe Duo Agosto has been performing original and arranged works in a wide spectrum of styles, from the Beatles to Vivaldi, alongside folk songs, contemporary and theatrical pieces. Audiences have enjoyed their exotic combination of oboe and English horn in music festivals and venues across the United States, in Canada, Brazil, and Asia.
The Duo performed at the 2013 International Double Reed Society Conference in Redlands, California, including a world premier by David Macbride and was featured as the ensemble in residence at the Hartford Women Composer Festival in March 2014. For more details visit oboeduoagosto.wordpress.com.
Recordings from the 2014 festival are finally available. If you didn’t get a chance to catch this year’s performances, be sure to check out our archives. We were thrilled to feature so much music this year (and are already planning for next year!).
Our first featured performance is an excerpt from Kala Pierson’s Bright Curves. Mary Matthews gave a great performance of this piece for flute.
Kala Pierson (b. 1977) is an American composer and sound artist. Her music’s “seductive textures and angular harmonies” (Washington Post) are “intricately structured, both mathematical and lyrical” (Dnevnik). She focuses on long-term projects including Axis of Beauty (setting texts by living Middle Eastern writers since 2004, in an ongoing answer to “Axis of Evil” wartime propaganda) and Illuminated (setting texts about sex and sexuality by living writers from a wide range of world cultures). Her website is kalapierson.com.
Dr. Mary Matthews enjoys a varied musical life as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician, lecturer, and clinician. She has appeared as a soloist with the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra,Firelands Symphony, Pottstown Symphony, and Baldwin-Wallace Symphony Orchestras and tours internationally as a member of theSoundscape Trio and the Cuatro Puntos Chamber Music Collective. For more about Mary, visit www.marymatthewsflute.com.
Another happy Friday recap to everyone! If you didn’t see our announcement from earlier this week, be sure to check out our announced guest composer for 2014, Andrea Clearfield. We’re thrilled to have her join us in March for another series of programs celebrating the diversity of women’s music.
In honor of the guest composer announcement, this week’s photos are all of previous guests. It’s been an honor to host each and every one.
2011 guest composer Gilda Lyons gives a passionate performance of her work A Small Handful
2013 guest composer Hilary Tann receives a warm applause after her talk to Central Connecticut State University
Allison Holst-Grubbe, soprano, accompanied by Michael Korman, performs songs by Amy Beach along with many other singers on the American Women in Song concert.
Alyssa Hoffert, soprano saxophone, Lauren Wasynczuk, alto saxophone, Benjamin Carraher, tenor saxophone, and Li-Chun Hsiao, baritone saxophone, give an excellent performance of Hilary Tann’s Some of the Silence at the Hartford Musical Club.