10 dayne topkin cB10K2ugb 4 unsplashWomen have made many contributions to western music. The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra is taking the initiative to recognize and celebrate women composers in its production of “Music She Wrote” Saturday, Feb. 8. This concert, held in the Seabrook Auditorium at Fayetteville State University, will feature pieces exclusively written by women.

One of the women featured in this concert is Florence Price. Born in the late 1880s in Little Rock, Arkansas, Price is credited for being the first African-American woman composer. Her musical endeavors began at an early age under the guidance of her mother, who was a music teacher. At the age of 11, Price had her first composition published. She also had success in her academics and graduated at 14 with the title of valedictorian and later studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. During her lifetime, she worked as a music educator, organist and composer. Her Symphony No.1 in E minor can be heard at the FSO concert. The composition won first prize in the Rodman Wanamaker Competition in 1932.

Another woman featured in the“Music She Wrote” program is Amy Beach. An American composer, Beach is considered to be the first American female composer of large scale art music. Also known as serious music, art music refers to any music derived from Western classical music. The FSO will honor her by performing her “Gaelic” symphony. The symphony premiered in 1896, performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Beah was also a successful pianist who performed her works in the United States and Germany.

The FSO also offers a unique opportunity to experience the music of a living composer. Anna Clyne currently resides in the United States. She is a Grammy-nominated contemporary English composer. Her compositions are known for their acoustic and electro-acoustic elements. She has had many accomplishments and has had pieces premiere at various music festivals, such as the 2019 Carrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. She has also served as an in-residence composer for various symphony orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Berkeley Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the L’ Orchestre national d’île-de-France. Her works “Masquerade” and “Seascape,” which is the second movement from her orchestral suite titled, “Abstractions,” are to be performed for this concert.

Other women composers that will be featured in the concert are Ellen Taafe Zwillich, Joan Tower and Cecile Chaminade. The Fayetteville symphony promises an evening of empowerment, and listeners will be exposed to music created by intelligent and groundbreaking women.

Visit http://www.fayettevillesymphony.org/ or call 910-433-4690 for tickets and information.

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