The “champion” of female composers will conduct the Florida Orchestra this weekend

Driver JoAnn Falletta has a reputation for highlighting the music of women composers since she was appointed conductor The Women’s Philharmonic in San Francisco, while still a student at Juilliard.

“And I just decided that I was going to try and first adjust my way of thinking about music in the world, but also try to promote women and generally underrated composers as much as possible,” he said. she declared.

Such a concept may be easy to embrace now, but in the 1990s Falletta said there was reluctance to add these works to programs because many of the pieces – and the female composers themselves – were rather obscure.

“Ticket sales, etc. Sometimes The Woman’s Philharmonic and I used to work with manuscripts, I mean with handwritten parts, and other orchestras didn’t seem willing to do that. But in some cases , music just existed only in the writing of the composer. But I’ve seen it change now and I’m so happy about it. And we have so many women today, who live… who write from the music. It’s really wonderful,” Falletta said.

This weekend, she will conduct the Florida Orchestra in a program which includes the “Piano Concerto in A” by Clara Schumann, with soloist Alexandra Dariescuand Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade”, which is based on the mostly Middle Eastern and Indian stories known as The thousand and One Nights.

Falletta calls the main character an “unlikely heroine”.

“The person who really saved his country from the wrath of the khalif by his creativity, by the wonderful story that he imagines and tells him. So I think the program has really evolved in a beautiful way in terms of the celebration women.”

Clara Wieck Schumann was a woman ahead of her time. Gifted as both a pianist and a composer, Falletta described her piano concerto as “a virtual social piece, because she could play that. I mean, she was a fantastic, phenomenal pianist prodigy. She therefore wrote for herself and a very difficult undertaking for a pianist, but brilliant.”

Schumann lived at a time when women were not encouraged to pursue a career in music.

“She was so imaginative and so gifted,” Falletta said. “Who knows what she would have written if she had been encouraged to continue?

As for her approach to conducting with the Florida Orchestra, Falletta said she might come up with a clear idea of ​​what she’s looking for and that it’s “very important to hear that the interpretation of the piece (reflects) the sum total of who the musicians are.”

She compares him to a director directing a group of actors in a play.

“And they perform Shakespeare’s Hamlet, for example, they bring a lot of what this play is going to be like, of course, the sound of their voice, their concept of who Hamlet is, their own projection of their life into this And the director on stage has to leave room for that, because it’s too much talent that can’t be ignored, the same way with an orchestra,” Falletta said.

The Florida Orchestra concerts led by JoAnn Falletta are this weekend in St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

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