Dalia Stasevka, conductor
Credit: Dalia Stasevka

The summer of 2024 is shaping up to be a summer of women conductors—a welcome sight in a classical music landscape that has famously been hostile to women on the podium.

On July 5 & 6, Dalia Stasevska will lead the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in a program of Finnish music: Sibelius’s Symphony No. 5, Einojuhani Rautavaara’s Cantus Arcticus and Kaija Saariaho‘s concerto Trans for Harp and Orchestra. The concerto will feature harpist Xavier de Maistre, for whom Saariaho wrote the piece. Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy has covered a number of Saariaho’s premieres, accessible here. Stasevska has been the chief conductor of the Sinfonia Lahti in Lahti, Finland since the autumn of 2021, and is currently Artistic Director of the International Sibelius Festival as well as the Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. During her time with the BBC Symphony, she has also established herself as a champion of contemporary music by women, including: Noriko Koide, Anna Meredith, Caroline Shaw, Andrea Tarrodi, and Judith Weir.

Kathryn Eberle, violin
Credit: https://utahsymphony.org/

Chelsea Gallo, conductor

On Wednesday July 10 conductor Chelsea Gallo will lead the Utah Symphony Orchestra in a program of 19th century classics as part of the Deer Valley Music Festival at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Park City, Utah. The program will feature a number of usual composer suspects—Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, and Saint-Saëns—featuring Kathryn Eberle (violinist and the orchestra’s Associate Concertmaster) as the soloist in the Beethoven Romance No. 1 in G Major and the Saint-Saëns Havanaise. The concert will be Gallo’s debut with the orchestra, an addition to her comprehensive credits with US orchestras, operas, and classical music festivals. Eberle, the featured soloist, is a veteran member of the USO as well as the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles.

On Sunday July 28, the Baton Rouge [Art] Gallery in Louisiana will begin their Women in Music concert series as a part of the their Sundays at 4 event cycle. The Women in Music series will be presented by the Homegrown New Music Ensemble (HNME), and all events in the series will be free and open the public. HNME members Rachel Reese-Kollmeyer, Eduard Teregulov, and Albina Khaliapova began the series in 2020 as a vehicle for presenting the music of historically overlooked women composers. The July concert will feature music by Mel Bonis, Amanda Maier, and Cecile Chaminade. The HNME is a chamber ensemble whose reresentative members will be playing music for cello, piano, and violin for this concert—not an orchestra, but a classic chamber music combination of orchestral instruments.

Above: Homegrown New Music Ensemble, performing Class-Color by Marissa Dipronio.

Fans of composer Emilie Mayer are thrilled about the new live recording of her Symphony n. 1, led by  Laurence Equilbey and her period ensemble Insula Orchestra, available on Youtube.  Equilbey’s incisive leadership brings clarity and absolute precision of execution, resulting in a high energy performance.  Not without exaggeration, Mayer was known in her time as the female Beethoven.

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