Thea Musgrave at 90

Conductors and Artistic Directors love celebrating composers anniversary years. There is always tremendous excitement around remembering the work of a beloved composer celebrating a milestone. (Any classical music enthusiast will have a hard time finding any ensemble NOT performing a work, or an entire program, in honor of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday.) This week ensembles in the United States and abroad will be honoring the life and work of Thea Musgrave, who will be celebrating her 90th birthday on Sunday, May 27. The Scottish-born composer, who has lived and works in the U.S. since the 1970’s, was a student of…

Women Composers to Celebrate in 2018-2019

Classical music enthusiasts love to celebrate big years – and we certainly are no exception, as we celebrated Amy Beach’s 150th in 2017. In general we are in favor of any reason to have a party and spend some time immersed in great music. But it is only fair that orchestras spread their attention, and concert time, to more composers than “the usual suspects.” After all, there are plenty of birthdays to go around! This year there is nothing less than a deluge of ensembles across the country dedicating concerts to dear ol’ Lenny because of his 100th birthday (in August, 2018). It’s…

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…

Composers You Should Know: Peggy Stuart Coolidge

This week marks the 104th birthday of American composer and conductor Peggy Stuart Coolidge (1913-1981). She began her career as a concert pianist, but turned to composition when a student at the New England Conservatory.  Though her early works are for piano, most of her compositions are for orchestra, including many tone poems, works for piano and orchestra, ballets, and incidental music. Stuart Coolidge was one of the first American women to have an album devoted to her symphonic works, which were internationally recognized during her lifetime.  In fact, many of her works were first premiered in Europe. An active…