In honor of Women's History Month, I wanted to show you more of my favorite performances by a female classical musician and in this past year alone, I have discovered many performances by female classical musicians that are worth giving a listen! Disclaimer: I don't own any of these videos that are posted in this blog. If you are interested in hearing about some of my new discoveries, then keep on reading!😊
1. Jeanne Baxtresser, Flutist
Jeanne Baxtresser (b. 1947) is an American Flutist and Educator, She is best known for being the Principal Flutist of the New York Philharmonic for over 15 years and she is the author of the books Orchestral Excerpts for Flute Vol. 1 (1998) and Orchestral Excerpts for Flute Vol. 2 (2019). She is most famous for her recording of the C.P.E. Bach Concerto in D minor for Flute. Strings, and Basso Continuo but I would recommend listening to her recording of the Sonatine for Flute and Piano by Walter Gieseking. This recording of hers is my favorite because she has this effortless technical facility and her tone is gorgeous in this piece.
2. Nancy Allen, Harpist
Nancy Allen (b.1954) is an American Harpist who is best known for being the Principal Harpist of the New York Philharmonic and the first time I heard about her was through an interview that she did when she was a member of the All Stars Orchestra back in 2013 and the recording that I recommend is her recording of the Concierto Serenata by Joaquin Rodrigo (1901-1999) because she makes the harp sound beautiful and she makes people want to listen to harp music.
3. Ruth Slenczynska, Pianist
Ruth Slenczynska (b.1925) is a relatively new discovery for me; I found out about her at the beginning of this year, when I found out that at the age of 97 she signed a record deal with Decca Records and was releasing her first album in 60 years called My Life in Music which was released this past Friday. She is an American pianist of Polish descent who is famous for being the last surviving student of the legendary Russian Composer Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1941). In addition to studying with Rachmaninoff, she also studied with French Pianist Alfred Cortot (1877-1962) and Austrian Pianist Artur Schnabel (1882-1951) (Schnabel also taught the late Leon Fleisher). Earlier today, I listened to her new album and one of my favorite pieces from her album was her recording of Rachmaninoff's Prelude Op. 32 No.5 in G Major, when I listened to it, She made this prelude sound ethereal and effortless.
4. Anne-Sophie Mutter, Violinist
Anne-Sophie Mutter (b.1963) is a German Violinist who early in her career got the attention of Austrian conductor Herbert Von Karajan and she has had several works written for her such as Henri Dutilleux, Witold Lutoslawski, Andre Previn, Krysztof Penderecki and several others. The recording of hers that stood out to me was her recording of the Violin Sonata Op.24 No.5 (also known as the Spring Sonata) by Beethoven: I have heard several violinists' recordings but to me she has the best recording because of her dynamic contrast, tone colors, and the way she communicates with her pianist.
5. Maria Callas, Soprano
Maria Callas (1923-1977) was a Greek-American Soprano who was regarded as one of the great sopranos of the 20th Century and what impressed me about her is that her voice is unique (She doesn't sound like any other soprano that I've heard). She started out her career singing a lot of Wagner and then she lost a lot of weight in less than a year, she went on to sing more Bel Canto Roles. My favorite recording of hers is Callas singing Cio-Cio San's Act II aria Un bel di vedremo in Puccini's Madama Butterfly.
1. Paula Robison, Flutist
Paula Robison (b.1941) is an American Flutist who studied with the great French flutist Marcel Moyse (1889-1984) and the American Flutist Julius Baker (1915-2003), she was the first American to ever win First Prize the Geneva Competition, she has made her career as a soloist, teacher (She teaches at the New England Conservatory), and arranger. I love her sweet sound and her sound to me is perfect for things like the Mozart Concerto in G K.313 for Flute and Orchestra.
2. Marin Alsop, Conductor
Marin Alsop (b.1956) is an American Conductor who is the Music Director Laureate of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and she is the Chief Conductor and Curator of the Ravinia Festival. Unfortunately, there aren't that many female conductors and she paved the way for other female conductors such as Alondra De la Parra, Nathalie Stutzman and many others. I couldn't find that many recordings of her but I do love her recording of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E minor that she did with the Peabody Orchestra where she is the Director of the Graduate Conducting Program.
3. Tiffany Poon, Pianist
Tiffany Poon (b.1996) is a Hong Kong born American Pianist who has a large following on both Instagram and YouTube. She studied at Juilliard in their Pre-College Program and later did the Columbia/Juilliard Exchange where she got her Bachelors degree in Philosophy; Her Teachers at Juilliard were Emmanuel Ax and Joseph Kalichstein. In 2020, she founded a charity called Together with Classical and through her charity, she started a web series called Classical Chats where she interviews a lot of well-known musicians. I fell in love with her playing back in 2017 and my personal favorite recording of hers is her performing the Spanish Rhapsody by Franz Liszt when she was just 18 years old!
Thanks for making it to the end!!!😊
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