Maboudou Sanou, Boureima Sanou, Keiko Fujiie and Ibrahim Dembélé pose for the camera

Maboudou Sanou, Boureima Sanou, Keiko Fujiie and Ibrahim Dembélé. Image credit: Clair MacDougall.

News and music to start your week!

Read about the beautiful collaboration that is occurring in the Burkina Faso capital, Ouagadougou.  Japanese composer Keiko Fujiie and a Burkinabè griot (traditional story-teller and musician) Maboudou Sanou (pictured above) are working together to develop an opera based on a novel by Moyi Mborangon.  The BBC has the story, which explores the ways in which cultural exchange and collaboration created opportunities for creating art in an open and inclusive way.

David Patrick Stearns for Classical Voice North America explores the recent – and overdue – growth of interest in the music of Black composers, both contemporary and historic, and considers whether the trend will prove to be an enduring change.

Congratulations to the 2021 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Award winners!  The award, which encourages talented young creators of concert music ranging in age from 13 to 30, was given to 21 recipients; there were also 17 honorable mentions.  Among those acknowledged were Brittany Green, Moni Jasmine Guo, Soomin Kim, Chelsea Komschlies, Emily Webster-Zuber, Elizabeth Younan, Hannah Barnes, Olivia Bennett, Lucy Chen, Emily DeNucci, Sophie Mathieu, and Celka Ojakangas.  Learn more about each of these up-and-coming composers at New Music Box.

May 21 marked the 125th anniversary of Clara Schumann’s death.  The Guardian reprinted her obituary in honor of the occasion.

Opera America has announced the recipients of the 2021 Discovery Grants for Women Composers: Gelsey Bell, Christina Campanella, Asako Hirabayashi, Angel Lam, Shuying Li, Nicole Paris and Katherine Skovira, and Bora Yoon.  Read more at Broadway World, or at Opera America’s own page.  Each winner will receive a grant of $100,000 to support development activities for a new work.

LimeLight Magazine features a story about the changes in Australian symphony orchestras in regards to representation in the concert hall.  Yvonne Frindle explores the initiatives that are bringing about this change, including the mini-festival “She Speaks” and the “Miriam Hyde Circle.”   Unfortunately this content is behind a paywall, but we found this article about the “Miriam Hyde Circle” — the Adelaide Symphony has named its new initiative “committed to ensuring a greater representation of women composers on the Adelaide stage” after the  Australian composer, pianist and music educator Miriam Hyde.

A re-released documentary titled simply Women Composers features the performances and research of Leipzig pianist Kyra Steckeweh (working with Tim van Beveren, filmmaker) as she explores neglected repertoire, in particular that of Mel Bonis, Lili Boulanger, and Fanny Hensel (née Mendelssohn).  Learn more here and watch the trailer below:

The award-winning 2018 film has been shortened in this re-release with distribution targeting American audiences (we just missed the available streamings but we hope there will be more soon!).  More of Steckeweh’s artistry can be heard here in this 2015 performance (in a exquisite short film) of Mel Bonis’ Ophélie, presented as a prelude to the 2018 release.

Of the many performances taking place that showcase women’s works, this livestream from the Geneva (NY) Music Festival, on May 29, includes Florence Price’s Five Folksongs in Counterpoint.

We always love to hear from our readers!  What did we miss?