News and music to start your week!

Many throughout the classical music community celebrated Cecile Chaminade’s birthday last Thursday!  WQXR in New York City republished a video of pianist Joanne Polk performing some of Chaminade’s works.  And here is Chaminade’s Concertstück for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 40, as performed by Rosario Marciano, piano, with the Orchestra of Radio Luxembourg.

Also this week, WQXR’s Fran Hoepfner makes the case for Louise Farrenc in general, and her Third Symphony in particular.  I love her description of the work:

Though I have much affection for all three of her symphonies, Farrenc’s Third is a masterful and largely self-assured piece of music. There’s a tendency to connote women’s work as delicate or lovely — or any countless number of adjectives that are often diminutive in nature. That’s not to say there aren’t moments of loveliness or delicateness in Farrenc’s work (there are several!), but the piece itself bucks gendered description entirely. It is very much itself. There are equal parts passion and respite, fury and calm.

Read a guest post by scholar and pianist Samatha Ege on The Cross-Eyed Pianist, where she writes about the importance of “Connection, Not Perfection.”

Lidiya Yankovskaya writes for NewMusicBox about the importance of the “catalyst-conductor” – conductors using their positions of power to advocate change, development, and even entrepreneurship outside of what are seen as more traditional conductor paths:

As mobilizers and catalysts for change, conductors from diverse backgrounds—spanning cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender boundaries—can have an opportunity to make an impact on our field, even when initially halted by gate-keeping institutions. Those who embark on this path can foster creativity and collaboration, open doors that may otherwise remain closed, increase the number of voices represented, and ultimately move classical music toward a more viable future.

And Deceptive Cadence from NPR speaks with Pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason (pictured above). One of seven musical siblings, Isata just released her debut recording which featured works by Clara Schumann.  Here is the album on Amazon (with audio clips).  And here is an excerpt from Clara’s Piano Concerto, with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, dir. Holly Mathieson.

We’re sorry we missed reporting on the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music — it was a spectacular series of events, with exciting premieres including “When There Are Nine,” by Kristin Kuster, a 45-minute orchestral song cycle celebrating Ruth Bader Ginsburg; and Anna Clyne’s cello Concerto, “Dance,” with soloist Inbal Segev. The excellent reviews are pouring in, here and here! And thanks to Cherrill Spencer for prodding us about this, and for her devoted support of women in music!

Be sure to let us know what we missed!  We appreciate it! [email protected]