Vivian Perlis Remembered

Vivian Perlis Remembered

By Jennifer DeLapp-Birkett, Ph.D., musicology, [email protected] When Vivian Perlis died last month, the music world lost a respected scholar, a pioneering oral historian, an advocate for American composers and a strong supporter of women in classical music and jazz. Among her greatest achievements is the nationally recognized Oral History of American Music at Yale University Libraries, which she founded in 1969 with a series of interviews with people who knew the composer Charles Ives.  Those interviews culminated in the celebrated book Charles Ives Remembered (1974). In the 1980s, a long series of interviews with Aaron Copland led to a two-volume Copland…

500+ Operas by Women: Perform one today!

500+ Operas by Women: Perform one today!

Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy is happy to unveil our newly-updated database of 500+ Operas by Women! We invited Dr. Penny Brandt (one of the two noted scholars who worked on the update) to comment. “Why is nobody performing operas by female composers?”  asked ClassicFM, a UK-based Independent National Radio station with a popular website by the same name, in 2016. The question was a response to the New York Metropolitan Opera’s first production of an opera by woman since 1903:  which ran as part of the 2016–2017 season. “Damn good question,” I thought to myself as I read this and other…

Joan Tower & Tania Léon in Conversation at LAO

Joan Tower & Tania Léon in Conversation at LAO

By Chris A. Trotman, WPA’s Director of Music Publications. Thank you to composer Dosia McKay (@dosiamckay) for sharing her photo of the event (Tower, left, and Léon) During the 2019 League of American Orchestras Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, I had the privilege of attending a discussion and Q/A session with composer-conductor-pianist-educators Joan Tower and Tania Léon.  Tower was the recipient of the LAO Gold Baton Award, and the Nashville Symphony performed her Sixth Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman (a title deliberately referencing Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man)!  Léon is also a well-known, very successful composer, conductor, performer and educator,…

Costa Rican orchestra features women composers

Costa Rican orchestra features women composers

The Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (OSN — National Symphony Orchestra) of Costa Rica presents a tribute to women composers on June 14 and 16, 2019. The concert is conducted by Gabriela Mora Fallas (pictured left), returning for her second time to lead the orchestra; for her first time, two years ago, she received a National Award from the Ministry of Culture and Youth. The program is brilliant and varied, and Mora emphasizes that many of the works are national premieres, and thus the program is highly innovative.  The complete program follows: Blue Cathedral, Jennifer Higdon Pinceladas, Pilar Aguilar (Costa Rican) Purple…