“Because of the record number of women who were victors in national elections in 1992, it was dubbed The Year of the Woman,” writes William Albright in last Tuesday’s (11/20) Classical Voice North America. “But women made dramatic electoral gains this year, too, and 2018 is also shaping up as a Year of the Woman Composer…. The American Composers Orchestra’s current season is made up almost entirely of works by women composers. [Houston’s] River Oaks Chamber Orchestra … has been promoting women composers as well as new works for more than a decade. Women composers are represented in fully half of this season’s programming and account for a fifth of ROCO’s total repertory…. On November 17 … ROCO presented an all-female-composer program titled ‘Queen of Hearts.’ With … Chicago Sinfonietta music director Mei-Ann Chen deftly shaping and energizing the polished readings, the centuries-spanning lineup featured Anna Clyne’s 2009 Within Her Arms, Ruth Gipps’ 1958 Seascape, Louise Farrenc’s 1847 Symphony No. 3, and Solitaire, a world-premiere commission by Heather Schmidt…. Written to showcase long-time friend and ROCO concertmaster Scott St. John, [Solitaire] is a 16-minute violin concerto awash in soaring, ruminative passion filigreed with lots of motoric fiddling and briefly cleaved by a yearning cadenza.”

Posted November 30, 2018

In photo: On November 17, conductor Mei-Ann Chen led the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in a concert of music by female composers (from left) Louise Farrenc, Ruth Gipps, Heather Schmidt, and Anna Clyne. Schmidt’s concerto was a world premiere.