There won’t be any wild-haired or powdered-wig-wearing men that one might think of when conjuring up images of classical composers.
This weekend, concerts will be placing female composers front and center.
A pair of upcoming concerts will look beyond the titanic figures most remember from intro to music courses and instead spotlight overlooked “gems” written by female composers.
“One of the composers is Fanny Mendelssohn, who was the sister of Felix Mendelssohn, who was one of those giants we are so blinded by — the Bachs, Beethovens, Tchaikovskies and Rachmaninoffs of the world,” Sally Schlichting, flutist and organizer of the Con Brio Chamber Series, said in a phone interview. “They’re sort of like these towering giants who just kind of block from view the talent of these other tremendous composers. You just never get around to hearing these other incredible works.”
Schlichting said bringing lesser-known compositions to Juneau audiences is generally a goal of the Con Brio Chamber Series, but the concerts Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22 come with an extra twist beyond the all-woman composer theme — all the works will also be performed by women.
“I was approached by a couple of musicians, and they said, ‘Hey, Sally wouldn’t be great to do a concert of all women composers,’ and I said, ‘Of course it would,” Schlichting said. “I think the challenge just was trying to choose pieces because there’s a lot of great works out there by women composers.”
However, Schlichting said performers settled on a century-spanning and stylistically diverse setlist fairly quickly.
Performers will be violinist Lindsay Clark, pianist Mei Xue, soprano Sara Radke Brown, cellist Meghan Johnson, oboist Jetta Whitaker, pianist Nancy Nash, violist Stephanie McDermott, violinist Lisa Ibias and Schlichting.
“All of these women are teachers,” Schlichting said. “It’s really wonderful to do this program with them because they’re involved in cultivating the next generation of string musicians.”
They will be playing the works of Amy Beach, Lori Laitman, Madeleine Dring, Ingrid Stölzel and Mendelssohn.
Schlichting said playing the work of those composers not only lines up with the Con Brio series’ goal, it also fits in with cultural trends.
“In the last several years there’s been a surge of women’s voices in prominence in society, in politics, in art and all fields,” Schlichting said. “It is certainly a great time to do a concert of all women composers, but in my mind it’s always a great time to do a concert of all women composers.”
Know & Go
What: Con Brio Chamber Series: Music of Women Performed by Women
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 and 3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22.
Where: Northern Light United Church, 400 W. 11th St.
Admission: Both performances are pay as you can, and donations are welcome to help cover costs.
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.