Reviewing concerts with a more inclusive composer roster

Posted on: June 16, 2017

“I’ve been writing music criticism since I graduated college in 2012, but about a year ago I made the decision only to review concerts with at least one woman (or trans or nonbinary) composer on the program,” writes Rebecca Lentjes in last Friday’s (6/9) Log Journal. “People around me were perplexed. ‘Isn’t that a little excessive?’ a casual acquaintance asked.… Since making the decision … I have attended performances at the same rate as I did before…. I heard Jessie Montgomery’s arrangement of a southeastern U.S. spiritual…. I heard a spectral-tinged chamber piece by Ashley Fure.… I listened to Tansy Davies’s horn concerto Forest … at the New York Philharmonic. Another week included a Joan La Barbara song cycle … and an orchestral premiere by Anna Thorvaldsdottir…. As Olga Neuwirth put it in a 2015 interview published by VAN Magazine, ‘The world of classical music [is] still white, male, and patriarchal.’ …  I’m tired of having to spend energy picking and choosing which concert programs are inclusive in order to hear all composers. To pave the way for a female language, female voices, and female space, we must continue straining to hear each other … and, more importantly, amplifying what we hear.”

Posted June 16, 2017