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Concert will honor trailblazing women musicians

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A concert planned by the Riverside Symphonia will honor trailblazing women musicians. The Lambertville-based group will celebrate the legacy of musicians who are women, past and present.

Performances by two noted young female musicians, one a composer and the other a concert pianist, will highlight the event which is a tribute to Women’s History Month.

“Symphonia is a Woman” is the theme of the large-scale orchestral concert to be staged by the Symphonia on Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Buckingham. The doors will open at 7:30 p.m.

Stage and screen composer Kathryn Bostic will present movements from three of her own works, “The August Wilson Symphony,” “State of Grace” and “Safely Home,” and pianist Tanya Bannister will play Clara Schumann’s Beethoven Cadenza.

The program will also honor the musical contributions of French Baroque composer Elizabeth de la Guerre, the first woman composer to premier an opera at the Academie Royale de Musique in Paris, and music by Polish artist Grazyna Bacewicz.

“The contributions of women composers to music is great, yet such a legacy of meaningful impact has been overlooked for far too long. This concert will present a look at the amazing music that women have presented in the past as well as the transcendent compositions, like those of Kathryn Bostic, which are illuminating the spirit of people throughout the world,” said Riverside Symphonia Music Director and Maestro Mariusz Smolij.

Symphonia Executive Director Cullen McAuliffe added, “We are very excited to present this concert for Women’s History Month and to host Kathryn Bostic who has created, and is creating, beautiful and meaningful pieces of music. Our goal with this concert is to bring the tremendous talent of Tanya Bannister and Kathryn Bostic to perform with the Symphonia to remind everyone that the rich legacy of the arts in Lambertville-New Hope was trailblazed by women and continues to reach new heights today.

“We truly hope that all music lovers will treasure the concert experience we hope to bring to our audience in the river towns and beyond.”

Bostic wrote in an email, “I created the August Wilson Symphony from my desire to honor this iconic playwright, with an orchestral statement that reflects the earthiness and majesty of the African American experience within his plays. The overall influence August Wilson has had on me is immense. His awareness of his unique gift in storytelling African-American lifestyle and history has helped me to appreciate the power of individual expression and its importance for me as an artist. This has deepened my commitment to honor my own artistic voice and pay tribute to him.”

Bostic is also known for her work on award-winning films, television and Broadway shows.

Bannister is a classical concert pianist who is president of the Concert Artists Guild.

She is co-founder and artistic director of AlpenKammerMusik in Austria where music lovers and students from around the world spend 12 days in a small Alpine village studying chamber music. Bannister also co-founded Roadmaps Festival in New York City, an artistic, humanitarian and cultural venture. This year’s festival centered around the crisis in Syria.

Tickets for the concert are available online at riversidesymphonia.com or by phone at 609-397-7300 through March 15.

They also may be purchased at the gate the night of the performance so long as supplies last. Tickets for adults are $35 with student tickets priced at $15.

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