SF Choral Society highlights groundbreaking woman composer in 2 concerts


Celebrated in her lifetime but now mostly neglected in concert halls, Amy Beach (1867-1944) is often described as the most significant American female composer of her era.

Born in Boston, Beach was prolific: Her catalog includes songs, choral works and solo piano music, which she performed on tours throughout the U.S. and Germany. Her “Gaelic” Symphony, premiered by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1896, was the first symphony composed and published by an American woman.

This weekend, the San Francisco Choral Society presents a program pairing Mozart’s Mass in C minor, “The Great,” with a rare performance of Beach’s radiant “Canticle of the Sun,” a setting of a text by St. Francis of Assisi. Completed in 1928, Beach’s original score calls for organ, chorus and vocal soloists; in this performance, conductor Robert Geary leads the composer’s 1930 orchestral version, with the chorus joined by the California Chamber Symphony.

In both works, the vocal soloists are soprano Shawnette Sulker, mezzo-soprano Lindsay Roush, tenor Michael Jankosky and bass Christopher Filipowicz.

Details: 8 p.m. Aug. 11, 4 p.m. Aug. 12; Calvary Presbyterian Church, San Francisco; $28-$34; junior and high school students free; 415-392-4400, www.sfchoral.org.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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