News and music to start your week!

Happy Christmas to all who celebrate!  Enjoy this lovely Christmas Prelude for Chamber Orchestra by Vítězslava Kaprálova, pictured above.  It was composed in 1939 and broadcast as part of the Paris PTT Radio program “Noël à Prague,” on Dec. 24, 1939, just a few months before the composer’s death.

The Irish Times profiles composer Elizabeth Maconchy, who wrote a choral work titled “On Stephenses Day” (which is December 26 in Ireland).  Learn more about this too often forgotten composer, her life, and her fantastic works here.  And hear a performance of “On Stephenses Day” here.

It’s almost 2021!  And OUR CALENDAR IS HERE!  We are using to handle distribution; support our work by buying our calendar, and celebrate women composers throughout 2021!

Huge congratulations go to Cappella Clausura who presented a video production of Chiara Cozzolani’s ‘Magnificat’ in these Covid times.  Read about how it came to be at OperaWire, and watch the performance below:

This week Hyperallergic shares information about a new documentary, Sisters With Transistors, about the history of women in electronic music.  Narrated by Laurie Anderson, it is streaming online thanks to the Newport Beach Film Festival and Orange County Museum of Art.  Learn more through the link above, and watch the trailer below:

In her continuing series in partnership with NPR, Lara Downes spoke this week with Jon Batiste.  Catch up on Amplify on NPR’s website, or tune in below:

We’ve mentioned before that Dame Ethel Smyth’s “The Prison” (in its premiere recording by The Experiential Orchestra, led by James Blachly) has been nominated for a Grammy! The voting (by professional musicians who are members of The Recording Academy) ends Jan. 4.  It is the first nomination for Smyth, and we believe (can it really be?) she is only the second historic woman composer to be nominated (the first being Amy Beach).  Please tell us if we are wrong about this!

And Joyous Kwanzaa!  The first day of Kwanzaa, Dec. 26, observes the principle Umoja — Unity — and thus Valerie Coleman’s Umoja is a perfect part of that celebration! We’re working on the rest of our playlist, let us know your ideas!

What did we miss?  What are you reading?  Drop us a line at and let us know!