To close its 82nd season, the Choral Society of Pensacola presents Her Songs, a program celebrating the music of women composers from four centuries.
Despite the strides they have made in many fields, women remain underrepresented as composers in the classical concert and recital hall, especially outside major metropolitan cultural centers. Female composers have been creating music as long as their male counterparts, and a greater number than ever are composing today, and yet their works, even their names, are unfamiliar to many music lovers. With "Her Songs," the Choral Society’s artistic director, Xiaolun Chen, offers audiences the opportunity to discover the music of more than a dozen extraordinary women.
Appropriately, the women of the Society will be showcased in several works: an excerpt from Ruggiero’s Liberation from Alcina’s Island, an opera by seventeenth-century Italian composer Francesca Caccini; a set of Three Flower Songs by nineteenth-century American composer Amy Beach; and “Thinking of My Home,” a song by contemporary Chinese-American composer Chen Yi. The program contains a second work by Dr. Chen, a setting of an eleventh-century poem by Su Dongpo, and two works by another contemporary American composer, Gwyneth Walker, her treatment of “How Can I Keep From Singing?” and an original chorus inspired by poetry of John Greenleaf Whittier, “The Tree of Peace.” Earlier composers on the concert are Isabella Leonarda, an Ursuline nun represented by her setting of Ave Regina Caelorum (Hail, Queen of Heaven), and Clara Schumann, whose Three Choruses for Mixed Voices is among her few choral compositions.
The Society will be joined in their celebration by two guest artists: mezzo-soprano Hanan Tarabay and Steinway artist/composer Kadisha Onalbayeva. Tarabay will perform songs from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by Pauline Viardot, Lili Boulanger, Alma Mahler, and others. Onalbayeva will interpret two more recent works: Sofia Gubaidulina’s "Chaconne" (1962), as well as her own "Think…Together" (1990).
Tickets are available at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/her-songs-tickets-36809698800?aff=es2. Special rates are available for groups and for students. For further information, call the Choral Society at 850-484-1806.