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  • Writer's pictureKiara Eijo

Five Performances by a Female Classical Musician that you should check out!

Updated: Mar 15, 2022

To cap off Women's History Month, I wanted to talk about the top 5 performances by a female classical musician that you should check out. Even though I am primarily a flutist, I still like to listen to performances by other classical musicians. Disclaimer: I do not own any of the videos that I have on this post. These musicians that I am writing about in this blog are musicians that I have loved since high school/undergrad. If you are interested in knowing some of the performances that I highly recommend that you listen to then keep on reading.😊

Marina Piccinini, Flutist

Marina Piccinini (b.1968) is a Canadian-American Flutist of Italian and Brazilian descent. She is a world-renowned soloist and she is Professor of Flute at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Also, she was a student of legendary flutists Jeanne Baxtresser, Julius Baker, and Aurele Nicolet. I first heard about Marina Piccinini when I was in my two year break between undergrad and grad school. The performance of hers that I highly recommend is her performance of the Flute Sonata by Otar Tatakishvili (1924-1989) because she has this sparkling high register, her technical facility, and her array of tone colors.

2. Gabriela Montero, Pianist/Composer

Gabriela Montero (b.1970) is a Venzuelan pianist/composer who travels around the world as a concert pianist and is known to play her own compositions/improvisations. In 2009, she played at President Obama's 1st inauguration with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Clarinetist Anthony McGill. I first heard about Gabriela Montero during my undergrad because a lot of pianist classmates listened to her and in my first semester of grad school I briefly met her because she performed a recital at APSU. There are several recordings that I like from her (Including some recordings of her compositions) but the one that stands out the most for me is her recording of the Concerto No. 2 in C minor by Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). Fun fact: Today is World Piano Day.

3. Jacqueline du Pré, Cellist

Jacqueline du Pré (1945-1987) was a British Cellist who was a child prodigy, she traveled around the world as a soloist, and she was married to the famous Argentinean Pianist/Conductor Daniel Barenboim who I mentioned in my Hispanic Heritage Month Post. Sadly, her life and career were cut short when she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 27 and died from the disease at age 42. I first heard about Jacqueline du Pré because Yo-Yo Ma's current cello was previously owned by her and it was during my junior year of undergrad when I first heard recordings of hers. My personal favorite recording of Jacqueline du Pré is her recording of the Cello Concerto in e minor, Op.85 by Edward Elgar (1857-1934) because her interpretation is hauntingly beautiful.

4. Hilary Hahn, Violinist

Hilary Hahn (b.1979) is an American Violinist who has had a successful career as a soloist and a recitalist. She has also built a reputation as a champion of contemporary music (several modern works have been written for her). I first heard about Hilary Hahn when I was in undergrad because a lot of the string players that I went to school with were fans of hers. My personal favorite recording of hers is a recent recording of her performing the Violin Concerto in d minor, Op. 47 by Jean Sibelius (1865-1957).

5. Lorna McGhee, Flutist

Lorna McGhee (b.1972) is a Scottish Flutist who has a multi-faceted career as a concerto soloist, orchestral musician (She is the Principal Flutist of the Pittsburgh), Chamber Musician, and Teacher (She is a part of the Flute faculty at Carnegie Mellon University). I first heard about Lorna McGhee because I saw picture of her in Flute Talk Magazine (The Most famous Flute Magazine in the flute world) my junior year of undergrad and I actually got a chance to meet and play for her during my first year of grad school on my birthday. She doesn't have that many solo recordings but from the ones that I've heard my favorite recordings of hers is her playing the Chaconne in g minor by Tomaso Vitali (1683-1745).


Honorable Mentions

1. Amy Porter, Flutist

Amy Porter (b.1964) is an American Flutist who has a multi-faceted career as a recitalist, concerto soloist, arranger, teacher (She is the Professor of Flute at the University of Michigan) and most recently, Podcast Host. I first heard about Amy Porter when I was going into my junior year of high school (Fun fact: She was one of the first Classical flutists that I started listening to ) and I remember falling in love with her sound. I met her last year at the Mid-South Flute Society Convention before COVID shut everything down. My favorite recording of hers is her performance of the Sonatina for Flute and Piano by Eldin Burton (1913-1979).

2. Leontyne Price, Soprano

Leontyne Price (b.1927) is an American Soprano who is most famous for being one of the first African-American Opera Singers to sing at the Met, She sang with the Met from 1961 until her retirement in 1985. I first heard about Leontyne Price when I was still in high school because I read somewhere she is a distant cousin of Whitney Houston but I didn't actually hear any recording of hers until I got to my undergrad. My favorite recording of hers is her performance of the aria O Patria Mia from the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901).

3. Yuja Wang, Pianist

Yuja Wang (b.1987) is a Chinese Concert Pianist who has enjoyed a lot of success as a soloist and as a recitalist. I first heard Yuja Wang when I was in my undergrad because all of my pianist classmates were fans of hers. There are many recordings that I love from her but the one that stands out as far as solo piano goes is her recording of Erlkönig by Franz Schubert (1797-1828) arranged for solo piano by Franz Liszt (1811-1886) because it's fiery and mesmerizing.

Thanks for Reading up until the End!!!!!😃

Happy Women's History Month!!!

Happy World Piano Day!!!

If you are interested in reading my last blog post, click here

If you want to know more about my musical journey, click here

If you want to schedule a free trial lesson, click here

That's all for now Friends!!!❤️

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