Women in Music Festival – A Celebration of Female Composers & Musicianship

The Women in Music Festival curated by The Albany Piano Trio and held recently at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London offered a celebration of female composers. It did not disappoint.

Performed in the Inner Parry Room in the College, this room at the top of the building created an intimate setting with good visibility of the musicians as well as a pleasing acoustic.

The series of 3 concerts (which were all free to attend) were all very different. The first saw performances of work composed by RCM composers such as Elizabeth Lutyens, Charlotte Bray, Pamela Harrison, Mary Anderson-Lucas, Josephine Stephenson and Rebecca Clarke.

The second concert explored the lives of Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel and Clara Schumann. The Rumore Quartet performed Mendelssohn Hensel’s String Quartet in E flat major and The Albany Piano Trio performed Clara Schumann’s Piano Trio in G minor op 17. Sophie Steer read superbly selected excerpts and quotes from letters and texts, which helped set the music and the composer’s lives in context and character.

The final concert was an interesting mix with works by Emily Hall, Rebecca Clarke and Sally Beamish. The Seafarer by Sally Beamish was very profound and evocative. Andrew Nolan was excellent as the narrator.

There is clearly a significant body of work by female composers for this trio to explore. As a member of the audience it was pleasing to hear works that I had not heard before and ones which although extremely worthy and extremely well written do not get played that often.

The Albany Piano Trio should be congratulated, not just on their performance and an excellent choice of programme, but also on their desire to perform work by female composers.


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