News and music to start your week!

Afghanistan’s first all-female orchestra is now on tour in the UK!  They will perform in Oxford and London, with the highest profile venue being the British Museum.   Read more about the orchestra and the tour at the BBC website.

Bachtrack has an in-depth article about the tradition of music making in 16th century convents.  A great piece, including insight from Dr Laurie Stras, Professor of Music at the University of Huddersfield, author of the recently published book Women and Music in Sixteenth-Century Ferrara.

As we prepare for the 100th anniversary of American Women’s Suffrage, it was great to see the Library of Congress share some of their materials about a historic suffrage parade held in Boston, and the music that was included.  You’ll find links as well to many of the songs of the movement.

In 1943, Florence Price wrote to Serge Koussevitzky, conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, asking him to consider performing her music.  She knew it was a long-shot.  “I have two handicaps … I am a woman and I have some Negro blood in my veins.” It has become a rather infamous moment in music history (described here and here), since Koussevitzky did not reply and the BSO did not perform her music.  But now — finally, on March 23 — the BSO will play music by Price.  Or, at least, and arrangement of a work by Price  — Thomas Wilkins (who is also conducting the concert) has arranged sections of Price’s four-movement Symphony No. 3 into a tone poem called “Symphonic Reflections.”  Here is the BSO’s video announcement of the performance, which (BTW) uses the 2001 recording by The Women’s Philharmonic — still the only available recording of the work.  Can’t make it to the concert? Listen in! The concert will be broadcast live on WCRB radio (and streaming on the interweb)!

We unfortunately overlooked the Festival of American Music held in London a few weeks ago, but we just wanted to point out what a great series of events it was.  While it included chamber and solo works by Ruth Crawford Seeger, Rebecca Clarke, Arlene Sierra, Melinda Wagner, Elena Ruehr, Barbara Jazwinski, Sarah Rikus, and Augusta Read Thomas, the highlight was surely the opera by Festival founder and director Odaline de la Martinez.  The opera, Imoinda – A Story of Love and Slavery, with a libretto by Joan Anim Addo, is based loosely on the 17th century novel by Aphra Behn.  Learn more on the Lontano Facebook Page.

Be sure to let us know what we missed!