Happy Birthday Julia Perry

Today would have been American composer Julia Perry’s 92nd birthday. Perry was one of the first African American composers to gain acclaim – and establish a career in composition.  Her music was largely neoclassical, but also included experimentation with dissonances. She won two Guggenheim fellowships and studied with Nadia Boulanger (who, reportedly, felt that she didn’t need further instruction).  Her works, which ranged from chamber pieces to twelve symphonies, were performed but not recorded during her lifetime. After suffering a stroke in 1971 Perry, determined to continue with her work, taught herself how to write with her left hand.  She died…

Concert and Recordings from the Nashville Symphony

Over the three cycles of Performance Grants that WPA has funded to community, professional, and youth orchestras, we have been delighted to support ensembles from across the country.  In addition to introducing their audiences to important works by women, many ensembles also do extensive outreach and educational opportunities for the larger community. This weekend the Nashville Symphony, winner of a 2015 Performance Grant, will be not only performing but also recording two works by Jennifer Higdon. Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero will lead the orchestra in the performance of Higdon’s All Things Majestic and Viola Concerto, which was co-commissioned by the Nashville Symphony.  Roberto…