A while back in March we gave a nod to the “Women of Classical Music” in our Monday Daily Bow as well as a later Daily Bow story focusing on composer Jennifer Higdon. Today we have a fantastic follow up to that:
Cynthia Katsarelis, director of Pro Music Colorado Chamber Orchestra, is a storyteller.
“I kind of believe that music is always telling some kind of story, even if it’s an abstract story,” she says.
No doubt that is why Pro Music Colorado has billed 2011-2012 as “A Storied Season.” Programs have been “A Soldier’s Story,” featuring a work by Stravinsky with the same title; “The Christmas Oratorio,” featuring music by J.S. Bach telling the Christmas story; and this weekend’s season finale, “The Women’s Story,” at 7:30 p.m., May 5, at Boulder’s First United Methodist Church.
The first inspiration for the program came when Katsarelis heard a piece by Cindy McTee, a successful and busy composer who recently retired from the faculty of the University of North Texas.
“I learned of the Adagio by Cindy McTee some time ago and I wanted to do it,” Katsarelis says. “I knew that I would be able to build other things around it.”
Those other things are the Symphony No. 48 in C major by Joseph Haydn, known as the Maria Theresia Symphony for the Hapsburg Empress of Austria; and Mozart’s Flute Concerto in G major, to be performed by flutist Christina Jennings from the CU music faculty.
It is interesting that there is only one piece on the program written by a woman. There seem to be two reasons for that: Katsarelis wants women’s music to stand up to the greatest composers, and she wants to showcase more than one way that women have been empowered.
“Ensembles that have been devoted to women composers and concerts that have been devoted to women composers, I think they’ve been very important to shed light on the fact that there are women producing this fabulous music,” she says. “I mean, we already did a chamber music recital of women composers. But I think that the next step is a mainstreaming, and yes, I think McTee’s music stands up very well in the context.”
Other stories from the week:
- A fascinating piece looks at how local classical musicians in Philadelphia are paying to record, reflecting the changing dynamics of the recording industry.
- Meanwhile, Philly’s orchestra looks like it is ready to move forward, expecting to exit bankruptcy in the near future due to a settlement that they recently reached.
- Internationally renowned violinist Zvi Zeitlin died on Wednesday, May 2 at age 90.
- Check out this article on new classical albums from little-known Cuban pianist Jorge Luis Prats and The Knights (a performing organization we covered recently). Audio is included in the article.