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Sirius Ensemble Celebrates Female Composers

October 21, 2023 @ 7:30 pm

Sirius Ensemble presents Virago – A celebration of female composers showcasing female composers and honouring the diversity of classical chamber music. The composers, carefully chosen for this program, composed between the 19th century to present day.

The program includes works by French composers Louise Farrenc (1804-1875), Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944), Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983), as well as contemporary composers Margery Smith and Keyna Wilkins from Australia, Valerie Coleman and Jenni Brandon from the USA.

When researching this program the ensemble discoverd that the breadth of chamber music by female artists was too vast to showcase in one concert alone, encouraging them to program more female composers in theor 2024 program.

Louise Farrenc was a well-regarded pianist. She was a professor of piano at the Paris Conservatoire between 1842 and 1873, and was the only female musician at that time to hold this prestigious rank. Whilst in this position, she fought bravely for equal pay. Another pianist composer celebrated in her lifetime was Cécile Chaminade who in 1913 was the first female composer to receive a Légion d’Honneur, the highest French order of merit usually bestowed to men for recognition of public service, military or civil bravery.

Latin for ‘female warrior’, Virago by Keyna Wilkins celebrates four contemporary female leaders, Greta Thunberg, Grace Tame, Jacinda Arden, and Angela Merkel. Each movement reflects the inspirational leadership, attributes and actions of these women who have notably overcome societal challenges, traumatic events and have inspiried nations worldwide with their profound speeches. By celebrating these women’s achievements, Sirius Ensemble acknowledge the efforts past and present to promote a gender equal world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

Performers: Melissa Coleman (flute), Ian Sykes (clarinet), Alison Evans (bassoon), Clare Kahn (cello), and guests Emily Long (violin) and Jeanell Carrigan (piano).

Church Street Studios are a 15-minute walk from Newtown Station or 16-minute bus from Central Station (get off before Missenden Rd). Street parking in surrounding streets or parking stations at nearby hospital.



Church Street Studios,
62-68, Church Street
Campoerdown, NSW 2050 Australia
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