I have never been more excited about programming and performing a concert than this! “Women of Power” celebrates three wonderful composers and their life’s greatest achievements. Their accomplishments are particularly impressive in light of the obstacles career-minded women encountered in fields dominated by men more than a century ago.
Despite the fact that these compositions are not often performed in today’s concert halls, they were highly praised while the composers were still alive, especially Amy Beach’s Piano Concerto and Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3.
The circumstances were a little different for the Swedish composer Elfrida Andrée: She studied composition privately, but her goal was to become a professional organ player. She and her father fought for years with the Swedish parliament to enact changes to a law that restricted women from working as professional organists.
When the law was changed, Andrée’s compositional output surged, and it was in this period when she composed her incredible Concert Overture in D. I assure you that you will be enchanted by this extraordinary composition. The music seeps subtly into your soul, and, on returning home from the concert, I suspect you’ll find yourself humming the beautiful main theme of this work.
If I can describe Amy Beach Piano Concerto in one word, that would be “spectacular.” This fascinating piece is full of romantic sentiment, it’s stunningly virtuosic, and it is powerful. I still remember the first time I heard this masterwork; I was blown away. It never occurred to me that a few years later, I was going to have the privilege of learning and conducting this wonderful piece.
Symphony No. 3 in G minor by Louise Farrenc is an exquisite work of which I can’t get enough. While I could say that about any piece on this program, this piece has been steadily growing on me. Every time I return to the score, I am fascinated by Farrenc’s musical ideas, musical language and sublime use of harmony.
These powerful women showed the world that no obstacle could stop them from following their passion and dreams. Join Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra and me on Feb. 8 and 9, and let’s celebrate their beautiful works and remarkable achievements.