Spring Membership Drive: Music Makes a City Premium

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During this Spring Membership Drive only, you can receive a copy of the DVD Music Makes a City with your sustaining contribution of $15/month or more ($180/year). Click here or call (502) 814-6565 to find out how.

Women’s History Month – Madeleine Dring

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An English actress, musician and composer, Madeleine Dring is little known to American audiences. Her compositions are light and eminently approachable. Born in 1923 into a musical family, Dring displayed her musical talent early. Taught at the Royal College of Music, her instructors included Ralph Vaughan Williams, Herbert Howells, and Gordon Jacob. At the same time Dring studied mime and drama.

Dring’s acting career seems to have been for the stage only, as her only credit for TV or movies is as composer for an animated TV show called Little Laura. Many of her stage appearances included her performing her own compositions.

As a composer Madeleine Dring specialized in smaller-scale compositions such as songs, solo piano and chamber works. Her Trio for flute, oboe and piano is one of her most-performed works today.

Please enjoy this performance of the Three Piece Suite for Oboe and Piano by Madeleine Dring:

Humana Festival, Anonymous Art and Pogues Tribute

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This week on Artsbreak with Erin Keane: more from the Humana Festival of New American Plays, an anonymous art auction to benefit LVAA and just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, a Pogues tribute concert.

Audio MP3

Women’s History Month – Clara Schumann

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Clara Josephine Wieck was born in Leipzig on 13 September 1819. Her father taught her music theory and performance in a rigorous schedule at an early age. She performed publicly as a young girl and met another young musician, Robert Schumann, when she performed at a home at the age of eight. Schumann moved into the Wieck house as a student of Clara’s father. Ten years later, Clara and Schumann married.

Clara was giving solo piano recitals in a European tour when she was eleven. She continued to perform to rave reviews after her marriage. She was praised by Frederick Chopin and Franz Liszt. She and Robert formed a close friendship to the young Johannes Brahms and she championed his music.

Although she composed many mature compositions, Clara Schumann’s legacy lies mostly in her career as a pianist. She was one of the first performers to perform works from memory in public, a practice that has been used ever since. Edvard Grieg called Clara “one of the most soulful and famous pianists of the day”. She performed her piano concerto at the age of sixteen in Leipzig with Felix Mendelssohn conducting.

Clara Schumann was responsible for raising not only her children but some of her grandchildren as well. She showed great courage when, at the age of 29, she walked through the streets of Dresden during the May Uprising to rescue her children. Although confronted by a group of armed men, she retrieved her children and escorted them back home to safety.

Enjoy this romanticized reenactment of Clara Schumann from the film “Song of Love” in which Clara (Katharine Hepburn) schools Franz Liszt on the art of simplicity.

Bellatrix Musica Part I: Hildegard of Bingen

In honor of women’s history month, WUOL has also created Bellatrix Musica, a four-part podcast on the influence of women throughout music history. Part one focuses on female musicians in the early Church, particularly the work of Hildegard of Bingen. Check back in the following weeks for more, including features on Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel, the Boulanger sisters, and more.

Music:

O virga mediatrix, Hildegard of Bingen, performed by Sequentia, Canticles of Ecstasy, Deustche Harmonia Mundi 77320

Instrumental Piece, Hildegard of Bingen, performed by Sequentia, Hildegard von Bingen: Symphonie/Spiritual Songs, Musical Heritage Society 513813

O virtus sapentiae, Hildegard of Bingen, performed by Sequentia, Hildegard von Bingen: Symphonie/Spiritual Songs, Musical Heritage Society 513813

O quam mirabilis est, Hildegard of Bingen, performed by Sequentia, Hildegard von Bingen: Symphonie/Spiritual Songs, Musical Heritage Society 513813

O clarissima mater, Hildegard of Bingen, peformed by Sequentia, Hildegard von Bingen: Symphonie/Spiritual Songs, Musical Heritage Society 513813