Opinion: Women composers, topping Bay Area’s 2019 musical highlights

Posted on: December 10, 2019

“For 2019, the Bay Area’s classical and new music scene had just one lesson to impart…. It’s time to give more attention and support to the music of female composers,” writes Joshua Kosman in Tuesday’s (12/10) San Francisco Chronicle. “You could make this case just on the basis of fairness and social justice … but my argument is … based on the fact that music by women provided an astonishing preponderance of the past year’s highlights…. I want more like these: Anna Thorvaldsdottir, ‘Metacosmos.’ For his first guest appearance with the San Francisco Symphony since being named the next music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen unveiled … [Thorvaldsdottir’s] gorgeous, engrossing new orchestral tone poem…. Florence Price, Symphony No. 3.… The Oakland Symphony’s vivid performance of this enchanting work under music director Michael Morgan on Jan. 25 was a knockout.” Also on Kosman’s list: chamber music by Betsy Jolas (at Cal Performances), Jessie Montgomery’s Banner and Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3 (Oakland Symphony), Katherine Balch’s Artifacts (California Symphony), Stacy Garrop’s Glorious Mahalia (Kronos Quartet), Meredith Monk’s Atlas (LA Phil), Kristin Kuster’s When There Are Nine (Cabrillo Festival), Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves (West Edge Opera), and chamber music by Grazyna Bacewicz (Bard Festival West). 

Posted December 10, 2019

In photo: composer Florence Price (1887-1953)