International Women’s Day Celebration Concert by Texas Medical Center Orchestra

When: March 8 2020

Where: Houston, United States

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TMCO Performs Works by Women Composers at International Women’s Day Concert on March 8, 2020

The Texas Medical Center Orchestra (TMCO), currently in its 20th season, will perform works by women composers, Lili Boulanger, Florence B. Price, Jennifer Higdon, and Amy Beach at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, Zilkha Hall, on March 8th at 5 p.m.  Lulu Liu, a 2019 Ima Hogg Competition Semi-Finalist and graduate student at the New England Conservatory of Music, will perform Price’s piano Concerto in One Movement.

A tragic figure among composers, Lili Boulanger was a French composer and first female winner of the Prix de Rome composition prize, but her untimely death at age 24 prevented her from achieving her full artistic potential. D’un matin de printemps (Of A Spring Morning) was one of the last works composed by the ailing composer. The piece follows the methods of early 20th century Impressionism, such as using harmonic layering, varying musical timbre through orchestration, and blurring tonal identity.

Jennifer Higdon’s blue cathedral, which was commissioned in 1999, is dedicated to her younger brother, Andrew Blue Higdon, who died the previous year of an aggressive form of skin cancer. The composer has said that she poured her grief and anger into the twelve-minute work, which features an innovative use of percussion instruments as the music soars toward an imagined expanded cathedral ceiling.

Florence B. Price wrote the first symphony by an African-American woman ever performed by a major symphony orchestra in the United States. Although trained classically in the European tradition, Price blended a Southern American blues influence with the rhythms and syncopation of African-American spirituals, reflecting society of her era. The Piano Concerto in D minor (1932-34) is often referred to as the Concerto in One Movement.
   
By the time she was a teenager, Amy Beach was considered to be one of the most talented musical prodigies in the country. Her Gaelic Symphony (1894) was the first symphony composed and published by an American woman. In this work, Beach chose to incorporate Irish melodies from the Celtic folk tradition, in the same vein as Dvořák or Mahler, using traditional tunes and also original ones she had first written as songs.  
   
Established in 2000, the Texas Medical Center Orchestra (TMCO) is one of the very few orchestras with its origin in the health professions. Most of the members are health professionals who have a dedication to music that goes beyond their daily occupations. For the 2016–2017 season, TMCO was awarded The American Prize in Orchestral Performance for best community-based orchestra in the U.S. Come see why TMCO is just the right medicine!

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