Rochester Philharmonic marks key anniversaries in women’s rights

Posted on: January 31, 2020

“Susan B. Anthony’s 200th birthday celebration and the centenary of the 19th Amendment are momentous events, but at first glance they may not seem to inspire musical celebrations,” writes David Raymond in Tuesday’s (1/28) City Paper (Rochester, NY). “The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is prepared to prove otherwise.… On January 30 and February 1, Music Director Ward Stare and the orchestra present an imaginative program titled ‘Women’s Suffrage: Past + Present,’ and on February 6 and 8, Stare leads a concert performance of Virgil Thomson and Gertrude Stein’s operatic salute to Susan B. Anthony, ‘The Mother of Us All.’ The first half of this week’s concert is a triptych of orchestral compositions by three women: Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, from the 19th century; Julia Perry, from the 20th century; and one from the 21st: Gemma Peacocke, a New Zealand-born composer … Her work ‘All on Fire’ is a commission from Stare and the RPO, inspired by a fiery quote from Susan B. Anthony.… The second half of this week’s program is filled [by] a work of theater—‘True and Devoted,’ a documentary-style play by Mark Mobley, based on his conversations about women’s suffrage and its consequences with five Rochester women.”