Women composers, center stage in third WoCo Fest, produced by violinist Laura Colgate

Posted on: June 2, 2021

“Violinist Laura Colgate is entering her third year producing WoCo Fest, a four-day festival presented by Strathmore and the Boulanger Initiative,” writes Michael Andor Brodeur in Sunday’s (5/30) Washington Post. “On Sunday, June 6, the bells of Washington National Cathedral [will] ring out over Northwest Washington carrying Hildegard von Bingen’s ‘O frondens virga’ … to close out this year’s installment of WoCo Fest. The … festival … is an extension of Boulanger’s founding mission: advancing the work of women in classical music…. The Boulanger Initiative … has put an intensive focus on educational programs [including] soon, launching residencies at conservatories…. ‘Now when they’re learning about Mozart, when they learn about Beethoven, they’re also learning about all these women composers who have just dropped out of history,’ says Colgate, who is also concertmaster for the National Philharmonic at Strathmore and the Greenville Symphony Orchestra in South Carolina…. A database the Boulanger Initiative started last year [includes] some 600 composers and more than 7,000 pieces … ‘I still get the question, “Is there really enough music written by women to do a full concert?” ’ Colgate says with a melody of exasperation…. ‘Come to the festival—it’s an entire weekend and it’s just the tip of the iceberg.’ ”