Opinion: Focus on women and composers of color should continue after return of in-person concerts

Posted on: April 26, 2021

“Most of us are tired of sitting in front of a screen to experience music, even now that the Boston Symphony Orchestra and similar ensembles can safely gather musicians to rehearse and record together,” writes A.Z. Madonna in last Wednesday’s (4/21) Boston Globe. “The high points for me are the chamber pieces that end each BSO NOW virtual program airing in March and April…. None of the pieces were written by white men…. The focus on music by women and composers of color was ‘definitely intentional’ … said BSO associate principal flutist Elizabeth Klein in a phone conversation…. Marion Bauer’s ‘Forgotten Modes’ for solo flute … aired in March…. Past programs also introduced Eda Rapoport’s lyrical ‘Poem’ … and the alternately playful and poignant ‘Five Folksongs in Counterpoint,’ by Florence Price…. This month’s programs offer chamber pieces by the pioneering 20th-century Black composer William Grant Still, Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon, and local treasure Marti Epstein…. A sense of curiosity and discovery shines through these chamber performances. It’s visible on the players’ faces and audible in the music. This feeling should not disappear when concerts resume in person, and neither should the programming return to the status quo.”