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NCH chamber music series

Female Composer Series

selected Thursdays from
November 2018 to april 2019

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In March 2018 the National Concert Hall and Sounding the Feminists announced a five-year project, supported by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, aimed at increasing the presence of female composers in the concert hall. As part of this project the NCH is delighted to announce the first series focusing on female composers over the centuries.  The series of six concerts will run from November 2018 to April 2019.

thursday 7th february 2019 - The Studio

jane o'leary

Jane O’Leary


Thea Musgrave
Orfeo I (1975) 
Sofia Gubaidulina De Profundis (1978) 
Marta Ptaszynska Moon Flowers 
Jane O’Leary between 2 waves of the sea (2016)    
Nicola LeFanu Isobirthday (2002) 
Kaija Saariaho Cendres (1998)
Unsuk Chin Alice in Wonderland - Advice from a caterpillar (2007) 
Joan Tower Amazon I (1977)

Concorde, Ireland’s longest-established contemporary music ensemble, perform works by leading international female composers of the last half century.

As artistic director and pianist of Concorde ensemble, Jane O’Leary has been nurturing the development of new music in Ireland and promoting its performance worldwide since 1976.

For this specially-curated programme she has chosen works from this forty year period by trailblazing female composers from around the world:  UK, USA, Poland, Russia, Korea and Ireland.

thursday 7th march 2019

irish baroque orchestra

Irish Baroque Orchestra
directed by Claire Duff
with Sarah Power soprano

‘La Donna Barocca‘

Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) Ave sauvis dilecto, con violini, Op.6 no.5 from 12 Motteti
Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) Arietta Op.6  'Miei pensieri'
Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665 -1729) Violin Sonata no.1 in D minor
Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) Serenata 'Hor che Apollo'
Elizabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre (1665 -1729) Rigaudons 1 and 2, Chaconne in D, ‘Pieces de clavecin 1701’
Maria Antonia Walpurgis (1724-1780) ‘Perfido’ and ‘Prendi’ from Six arias for Soprano, strings and continuo    
Maddalena Laura Lombardini (Sirmen) (1745-1818)
String quartet no.2 in B flat major
1.    Andantino
2.    Allegro
Maria Antonia Walpurgis (1724-1780) ‘Da me ti dvidi’ from Talestri, Regina delle Amazzoni

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Irish Baroque Orchestra perform La Donna Barocche at the National Concert Hall’s Kevin Barry Recital Room. La Donna Barocche highlights the sometimes neglected compositional output by female composers of the baroque period and particularly celebrates the 400th anniversary of the birth of Barbara Strozzi.

thursday 4th april 2019

miriam roycroft
lance coburn

Miriam Roycroft cello
Lance Coburn piano

Louise Farrenc Cello Sonata in B flat Major Op. 46 (1859)
Vítězslava Kaprálová April Preludes, Op.13 (1937)
Ethel Smyth Cello Sonata in a Minor Op.5 (1887)  
Luise Adolpha LeBeau 
Cello sonata in D Major Op.17 (1882)  
Henriëtte Bosmans Sonata (1919) 

The last concert in the series focuses on unjustly neglected sonatas for cello and piano by major female composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) was a renowned pianist whose compositions were much admired by her peers such as Schumann, though they are only now reaching the wider audience they deserve. Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) the British composer and women’s suffrage activist is one of the seminal figures in the history of female composers, her works being widely performed during her lifetime. Luise Adolpha LeBeau’s (1850-1927) circle of supporters included figures such as the composer Johannes Brahms, violinist Joseph Joachim and conductor Hans von Bulow. Henriëtte Bosmans (1895-1952) was a celebrated piano virtuoso and the daughter of the principal cellist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. A close friend of Benjamin Britten, interestingly her cello sonata dates from the same year (1919) as Elgar’s famous cello concerto.