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Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents WOMEN OF NOTE


WOMEN OF NOTE is a virtual celebration of female composers, female musicians, and the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Presents WOMEN OF NOTE

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents, in partnership with Florida Studio Theatre's Suffragist Project, "Women of Note," a virtual celebration of female artists and composers in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of women's right to vote. The video production, professionally filmed at Church of the Palms, features soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey, mezzo-soprano Robyn Rocklein, pianists Gail Berenson and Artist Series Concerts co-founder Lee Dougherty Ross, performing works by Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Amy Beach and Marion Bauer. Women of Note is hosted by Marcy Miller, executive director of Artist Series Concerts, and also features cameo appearances by actors Ariel Blue and Meg Gilbert, reading letters and writings by key figures in the women's suffrage movement. Kate Alexander, Associate Director At-Large for Florida Studio Theatre and Suffragist Project Director, offers commentary and historical perspective. The performance will be available for viewing online from October 1 through October 12. Tickets are $15 and will be available at during those same dates. Patrons will receive a link and password to the video that will be available for online viewing anytime during that time.

In the classical music world, the [last] names Mendelssohn and Schumann usually evoke the first names Felix and Robert, two great composers of the 19th century. But Felix Mendelssohn's older sister, Fanny Mendelssohn, and Robert Schumann's wife, Clara Schumann, were each brilliant musicians and composers in their own right.

"Florida Studio Theatre's Suffragist Project provided us with the perfect vehicle to present works by Fanny and Clara plus two other formidable but often overlooked female talents, Amy Beach, the first composer to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra in 1896, and Marion Bauer, a contemporary of Aaron Copland and a key figure in the shaping of 20th-century American music," says Joseph Holt, director of artist programs for Artist Series Concerts. "I chose these four mainly for the musical qualities of their work and suitability for this program," adds Holt. "And while none of the four wrote anything specifically about the Suffragette movement, it is still a model sampling of women who were creating, and beautifully, over the course of the entire women's suffrage movement." The musical portion of the program is performed by noted area sopranos Jenny Kim-Godfrey and Robyn Rocklein, and by pianists Gail Berenson and Artist Series Concerts co-founder Lee Dougherty Ross. Interspersed throughout the program, which consists of 16 songs and one piano solo, is illuminating commentary by Suffragist Project Director Kate Alexander and readings of Abigail Adams and Sojourner Truth by FST actors Ariel Blue and Meg Gilbert.

When the resurgence of coronavirus cases scuttled plans for a live performance of Women of Note this July, it was clear to both Holt and Alexander that the show would have to go on, virtually. "The result has been a wonderful collaboration between us and Florida Studio Theatre, seven fine area artists and everyone else involved in putting this video presentation together," says Holt. "We've given voice to the certainly notable work of some extraordinary 'women of note.'"

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