Forum: Women in Classical Music

Thursday, March 3, 11 a.m.
Minsky Recital Hall, UMaine School of Performing Arts

Explore the shifting terrain for female composers working in the realm of classical music, with insights on local and national trends, what’s changed, and what hasn’t. This event is presented as part of Women’s History Month at the University of Maine and the Jessica Meyer Composer Residency at the Bangor Symphony Orchestra. UMaine Covid protocols must be followed in order to attend.

Moderator: Laura Artesani

  • Dr. Laura Artesani is chair of the Division of Music in the School of Performing Arts at the University of Maine. In addition to her administrative duties, she teaches music education courses, serves as piano accompanist for the University Singers, and performs frequently in faculty and student recitals.

Guest: Jenifer L. Butler

  • Jenifer L. Butler is a Senior Advisor at Birchbrook. She has more than 25 years of investment management and more than 10 years of financial planning experience. A former board member and dedicated patron of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, she is the daughter of the late pioneering composer and conductor Kay Gardner.

Guest: Beth Wiemann

  • Composer and professor Beth Wiemann was raised in Burlington, Vermont, studied composition and clarinet at Oberlin College and received her PhD in theory and composition from Princeton University. Her works have been performed in New York, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Washington DC, the Dartington Festival (UK), the “Spring in Havana 2000 Festival (Cuba), and elsewhere by the ensembles Continuum, Parnassus, Earplay, ALEA III, singers Paul Hillier, Susan Narucki, DĂ­Anna Fortunato and others. A CD of Wiemann’s music, Why Performers Wear Black, was released on Albany Records in 2004. A performance of her new opera, “I Give You Home,” will take place Saturday, March 4, 7:30pm in Minsky Recital Hall with Guerilla Opera.

Guest: Jessica Meyer

  • Composer and violist Jessica Meyer is the recipient of the 2nd annual Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Composer Award, and her new work, “The Air of New Places,” will be performed by the Bangor Symphony Orchestra on March 6th. Meyer’s first composer/performer portrait album debuted at #1 on the Billboard traditional classical chart, where “knife-edge anticipation opens on to unexpected, often ecstatic musical realms, always with a personal touch and imaginatively written for the instruments” (Gramophone Magazine). Her compositions viscerally explore the wide palette of emotionally expressive colors available to each instrument while using traditional and extended techniques inspired by her varied experiences as a contemporary and period instrumentalist.