Presented by Rhode Island College's Artist-in-Residence and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra on March 10th.

By: Mar. 06, 2024
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Rhode Island College's Artist-in-Residence Judith Lynn Stillman and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra will celebrate Women's History Month with Women Trailblazers in Music: A Play-Within-A-Concert . The production spotlights diverse women composers spanning twelve centuries. The event features stories rarely heard and music not often played. It is a journey with tunes and tales by and about pioneering women composers who were all but expunged from history.

The multimedia production is a melding of music, theatre, visual art, and history, and includes ten artists. Performing with Judith Lynn Stillman, who serves as the production's artistic director, writer, curator, and pianist, are actress Becky Bass as the narrator; musicians from the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra including Charles Dimmick, the concertmaster of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Brent Selby, principal cellist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Rachel Braude, flutist and piccolo player of the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Ian Greitzer, Rhode Island College faculty member and principal clarinetist of the Rhode Island Philharmonic; and singers include Mia Douglas, Jess Huetteman, Teresa Eickel and Nora Pace.

"These extraordinary women composers have been marginalized, repressed, and shamefully neglected, but should be household names," says Stillman. "They were forced to remain in the shadows of men, but they were equally talented. Their innovative masterpieces are imaginative, passionate, and heartfelt, and they're a joy to play."

Stillman cites her inspiration to create the production as part of her ongoing dedication to giving voice to the voiceless. Previously, she has created projects addressing the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, refugees, artists of color, and the climate crisis. She recently received PBN's Creative Industry Services Leader Award and was named honored artist of The American Prize as both pianist and composer.

"It's difficult to revamp earlier periods of music history, but we can shift the paradigm," says Stillman. "By examining the past, we can hope to change the shape of the future. We need to shine a light on historical gender discrimination and existing problems as well. We're making headway, but systemic challenges remain. I think the best way to effect change is through education."

Tickets for the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra's Music School event held at the Carter Center in East Providence on March 10th at 7:30 PM are on sale now.


JUDITH LYNN STILLMAN enjoys a distinguished international career as pianist, composer, music director, filmmaker, and artistic visionary, using her creative platform to champion human rights, women's rights, diversity & inclusion, to further genocide education, and to give a voice to the voiceless. Hailed by Wynton Marsalis as "a remarkable virtuoso; a consummate artist," she holds Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees from The Juilliard School. Stillman is the Artist-in-Residence and a Professor of Music at Rhode Island College. She was named Honored Artist of The American Prize in Piano and Composition, awarded a first Pell Award for Excellence in the Arts, and is winner of 20 competitions. Career highlights include music festivals such as Marlboro, Tanglewood, Grand Teton, Yale-at-Norfolk, Kol HaMusica (Israel), Ravel Academy (France); Music Director for Operafestival di Roma (Italy); performer at the GRAMMYs honoring Rostropovich; world premieres at Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center; and visiting artist-in-residence positions in China, Russia, the Czech Republic, Beijing's Central Conservatory, Prague Conservatory, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Wynton Marsalis and Judith Lynn Stillman's acclaimed Sony duo album was on the Top Ten of the Billboard charts.

Stillman's collaborators include musicians from diverse genres such as The Beach Boys, Mark O'Connor, Richard Stoltzman, Herbie Hancock (BOSE commercial), members of the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, the Borromeo, Cassatt, Lydian, Muir and Shanghai String Quartets, and "Dynamic Duo" concerts with Jordan Rudess of Dream Theater. Stillman's compositions have received extensive national media coverage, with plaudits such as "a breathtaking masterpiece," "Stillman's true genius shines... she reaches for the stars and succeeds brilliantly...transports us through darkness toward life and growth," "startlingly beautiful musical score" (Armenian Weekly). As composer-filmmaker, Stillman's accolades include winner of Grand Prize: Best Music Video, Best Score, Best Multimedia Film, Audience Choice Award and Humanitarian Award in international film festivals in New York City, Hollywood, Cannes and in the U.K. Essential Business (film and music by Judith Lynn Stillman, featuring Metropolitan Opera baritone Will Liverman) was the First Prize winner of the worldwide OperaVision International Competition. The film was spotlighted as "a watching and listening highlight" by the Guardian. Liverman and Stillman premiered Stillman's song cycle, Where There's a Will..., commissioned by Liverman, at their recent recital in the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts. Her unique "play-within-a-concert" productions have received accolades worldwide. Stillman was named Creative Services Industry Leader in PBN's 2023 Business Women Awards. https://www.judithlynnstillman.com