News and music to start your week!

Congratulations to Ellen Reid on her Pulitzer Prize for p r i s m, an opera she composed with a libretto by Roxie Perkins.  Read more at NPR, read what Alex Ross wrote about the piece in The New Yorker, and learn more about Reid in a conversation with NewMusicBox.  If you’re not familiar with the work, you can watch the trailer for the opera below:


This week NPR also had a conversation with Caroline Shaw about her new album of works for string quartet titled Orange. Read the conversation here, or listen below.

Also on NPR’s All Things Considered was a piece about the all-women big bands that performed during World War II.  It’s an exciting chapter of Jazz history, with music making seemingly against all odds. NPR brings in their Jazz host Christian McBride, who “says this is a forgotten chapter in jazz history.”  Listen in:

It’s always great to hear some women talk about their exciting careers.  But having McBride in the story is a bit of Mansplaining on NPR’s part — after all, Sherrie Tucker wrote the book on “All-Girl Bands” — back in 2000!

A 37-year-old African American, Joseph Young,  has been announced as the next Music Director of the Berkeley Symphony!  Read the story at the San Francisco Chronicle.  What’s surprising is that “Young wasn’t on anyone’s radar” for the post – he wouldn’t have been considered if the illness of the scheduled conductor hadn’t led to management bringing him in as an emergency replacement.  It’s an amazing story and one that can cause us to wonder how many outstanding candidates actually go unnoticed just because of lack of the right connections, or lack of certain kinds of intangible exposure, or, certainly, due to unconscious bias?

The Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music has announced its season, and there are some exciting works to looked forward to, with an opening concert that features four audacious female composers. These include the premiere of Kristin Kuster’s When There Are Nine (celebrating United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and works by Nina C. Young, Caroline Shaw, and Melody Eötvös.   Other concerts on the program include music by Du Yun, Anna Clyne, Clarice Assad, Hannah Lash, and Vivian Fung!

Stories we missed! OK, we are always on overload during March — ya’ know, women’s history month and all.  So we overlooked WQXR’s Challenge: Women Are for Life, Not Just for International Women’s Day.  This is an important commitment on the part of WQXR, to”increase the percentage of music being played written by women year-round,” and one they challenge others in the industry to take up. So, cheers to WQXR, and to all who take up their challenge! We’ll report back on this in March 2020!

Be sure to let us know what else we missed!  And what you’re listening to!