Burning River Baroque to spotlight work by female composers

A Burning River Baroque performance at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

Burning River Baroque will present Twisted Fate: Famed and Forgotten Female Composers on Saturday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m., at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights (2555 Euclid Heights Blvd.)

The history of western art music predominantly focuses on the lives and works of male teachers, composers and performers. In eras when women rarely had access to the same educational and professional opportunities as their male colleagues, it can be easy to presume that women were simply not as productive and successful in the field. A closer look at history, however, reveals that some women were able to rise above the gender restrictions placed on them and achieved great success as professional musicians. Others led more private professional lives, cloistered in abbeys and composing for their fellow sisters.

Burning River Baroque's program will blend works of both famous and forgotten female composers, from antiquity to the present, including Hildegard von Bingen, Jacquet de la Guerre, Elisabetta de Gambarini, Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, Barbara Strozzi, Isabella Leonarda and Martha Bishop. This program will explore the ways in which historical circumstances pushed some women into the spotlight and others into the shadows, and will show diverse portrayals of female characters.

Co-directors Malina Rauschenfels, soprano, and Paula Maust, harpsichord, will be joined by Chicago-based guest artists Josefien Stoppelenburg, soprano, and Phillip W. Serna, viola da gamba. Admission is a suggested donation of $10–20. More information is available at www.burning-river-baroque.org.

Paula Maust

Paula Maust is a doctoral student at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and a co-director of the Cleveland-based ensemble Burning River Baroque.

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Volume 9, Issue 9, Posted 12:46 PM, 09.01.2016