Thursday, January 24, 2013

Season Announcements: Women Who Compose

A new feature: I'll be taking note of works composed by women and programs conducted by women on each of the season announcements. I am considering whether to try to count soloists, but probably not; I can tell you off the top of my head that the only female piano soloist at NYPO in the coming season is Yuja Wang (in the Chinese New Year program!), though there are several women appearing as violin soloists. There are something like 7 or 8 male pianists; the total number of piano soloists might be larger if Yefim Bronfman weren't on so many programs.


Henry Holland said...

the total number of piano soloists might be larger if Yefim Bronfman weren't on so many programs

Hahahahaha, or Jean-Yves Thibaudet!

Lisa Hirsch said...

Aha, but I meant specifically at the NYPO, where Bronfman is artist in residence or something like that.

CruzSF said...

I like this idea of yours. I've been looking for the women composers lately, partly because you've brought their absence to our attention (and partly because I just want to hear more live Higdon and Tower). I hope the SFS can right some historic wrongs in the new season.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks, Cruz!

I can't wait for the new-music gouts and festivals to start announcing. The NYPO and similar groups play mostly 19th c. music, and the big boom in women composing art music has really been in the 20th c. and especially in, say, the last 40 years. The NYPO sort of has an excuse, since they play so little new music. But Ojai North, which has performed one work by a woman in the last four years, has no damn excuse.

Tod Brody said...

I know you're focused on the orchestra announcements, and the relative dearth of women represented both as composers and as conductors. I'd just like to take note of a couple of our local chamber ensembles which have women in leadership roles: Earplay, the distinguished San Francisco new music ensemble, begins its 28th season on February 4th at ODC theater, under the musical direction, as it has been for many years, of the redoubtable Mary Chun. And UC Davis's Empyrean Ensemble (concert at Mondavi Center on Feb.1) is being conducted these days by the excellent Matilda Hofman. Each of these programs, as most Empyrean and Earplay programs do, features the work of at least one woman composer. Just to say, there are places nearby where it's not all about the guys. Also on the local front, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is running the show, musically, at New Century, and Ana Presler is the Artistic Director of the excellent Left Coast Ensemble.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Thanks, Tod, for those pointers. I really should get tickets to some of these groups!

I am going to be keeping a special eye on new music ensembles and festivals because, for instance, in the past four years Ojai has performed one (1) work by a woman.