Spitalfields Music in the City features all-female artists performing works by female composers through the ages in celebration of the women’s suffrage centenary. Our first concert on 8 June at the beautiful Ironmongers’ Hall features the Marsyas Trio, who will perform a selection of works for flute, cello and piano written by female composers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
We caught up with Helen Vidovich, flautist from the trio, to find out more about the programme and the inspiration behind it:
“I’ve always been fascinated by the theme of ‘Why No Women Mozarts?’ – one finds so many references in books to talented females from musical families and yet there is comparatively little music published under their names.
The four women whose work we will perform on 8 June were all rebels and pioneers in their own way, fighting against restrictions that social expectations of their day dictated. Whenever I perform music by Louise Farrenc or Fanny Hensel (Mendelssohn) I get the sense of an outpouring of emotions, which seems almost reckless at times, and far less restrained than must have been acceptable in their everyday social interactions. They both follow the formal outline of 4-movement works prevalent in the 19th century, but the overall result feels as though both composers were able to write without the pressure of approval from a publisher chasing financial and commercial gain.
The two short pieces by Amy Beach and Thea Musgrave are beautiful to play, and will appear on the Gates of the Soul CD to be released under the NMC label in October. The CD and this performance are a celebration of the increased artistic freedom of modern-day women, and our way of marking the centenary of women’s suffrage in Britain this year.”