HAPPY 150th BIRTHDAY, AMY BEACH!!

As this year marks Amy Beach’s 150th birthday, much is being done in celebration about this remarkable woman’s life and work! Numerous orchestras, choral ensembles, chamber ensembles and soloists around the world have performed or will be performing works by the pioneering American composer/pianist this year and next in celebration.  There are new recordings available this year featuring her works and new scholarship has and will be written about her.  Additionally, new musical editions, both revised and published for the first time, are available by a variety of publishers, such as Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy Publications! Here are a few highlights…

New Commissions from Kronos Quartet

The Kronos Quartet has announced an exciting new project titled Fifty for the Future.  From the Kronos Quartet website: Kronos’ Fifty for the Future is commissioning a collection of 50 new works – 10 per year for five years – devoted to the most contemporary approaches to the string quartet, designed expressly for the training of students and emerging professionals. The works will be commissioned from an eclectic group of composers – 25 men and 25 women – and the collection will represent the truly globe-spanning state of the art of the string quartet in the 21st century. I am deeply excited about…

Solar Winds at Brandeis University

This Saturday (February 28) Solar Winds will present a not-to-be missed concert at Brandeis University.  This poster says it all: From their website: On February 28 at Brandeis University, Solar Winds will perform a concert of wind quintets composed entirely by women.  The compositions are varied, entertaining, and musically significant. The concert opens with a brief and graceful Pastorale by Amy Beach – or “Mrs. H. H. A. Beach” as her husband insisted she call herself while he lived. Beach (1867-1944), a New Hampshire native, was a virtuoso pianist and self-taught composer, who struggled with magnificent success against the male-dominated musical hierarchy of…

Grime and Hensel at the Library of Congress

The next free concert hosted in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress is this Friday, February 20.  The Claremont Trio will perform Helen Grime’s Three Whistler Miniatures, which the ensemble commissioned in 2012, as well as Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Piano Trio in D minor.  There will be a pre-concert lecture by the artists, which I am especially sad to miss.  Check out the LOC website for more information on the event. For those of us who can’t make it to D.C. this weekend, here are the two pieces: