The petition to release Cara Kizer from her NDA imposed by the New York Philharmonic continues to accrue signatures. In addition, the open letter to the New York Philharmonic from the Composers Collective continues to raise awareness about the petition. The ongoing legal obstacles that prevent Kizer from speaking openly about her experiences help maintain a status quo of women as second-class citizens in professional orchestras—in brass sections in particular, but as members across the board. Katherine Needleman and Lara St. John have organized a protest at the NY Philharmonic about Kizer’s treatment (covered in more depth here) for May 20th. The Violin Channel has coverage of the protest.

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra (VSO) is presenting the capstone project Past, Present, and Future: The Impact of African American Music of the VSO African American Fellow Daphine Henderson, double bassist and vocalist, on May 20, 2024 in a concert at 7:00 PM EST at Roadstead Montessori High School in Norfolk, VA. The event is free and open to the public, and a livestream is available. Donations are appreciated, and will be accepted on-site and online through the end of May. The concert will feature the world premiere of “His Day is Done” by Ray Fields, which sets the work of poet Maya Angelou to celebrate Nelson Mandela, as well as composers Xavier Foley, Adolphus Hailstork, Damien Geter, Christen Holmes, and Adrian Sims.

The Lowell Philharmonic is presenting its all-women concert Daring Divas: American Women Composers of the 20th and 21st Centuries, at Fusion Church in Lowell Massachusetts. Featured works include: Mason Bynes’s Spring, Sprang, Sprung, Frances McCollin’s Adagio, Florence Price’s tone poem Ethiopia’s Shadow in America, and Amy Beach’s “Gaelic” Symphony in E minor.

JoAnn Falletta

“Save the Date” continues for the sixth annual Women in Classical Music Symposium, held in Dallas from November 3–6, 2024. Registration begins in early summer.  A central event of the Symposium is the the Award of Excellence, “which recognizes a woman in the field who has paved the way for others and is investing in the future of the industry.” The 2024 honoree is the conductor JoAnn Falletta, who counts among her many achievements multiple Grammy awards and the distinction of becoming the first woman to lead a major American orchestra (the Buffalo Philharmonic). Falletta was also the Music Director of The Women’s Philharmonic from 1986 to 1997, conducting four of the ensemble’s five commercial CDs.