New concert series from Illuminate Women’s Music

The Boston-based Prism trio performs in Illuminate Season I

Illuminate Women’s Music, which aims to highlight and celebrate the work and music of women composers and performers from the past and present, has announced two new concert seasons.

Illuminate’s first 2019 season supports five new commissions from composers Kerensa Briggs and Laura Shipsey and Illuminate composers-in-residence, Angela Elizabeth Slater, Sarah Westwood, and Blair Boyd, for new works for the Boston-based Prism trio and the UK-based Ethel Smyth Trio.

Having been premiered in Boston, MA earlier this year, several UK performances are soon to follow, with visits to Brighton, York, Stafford and Oxford. Historical works by Morfydd Owen, Grażyna Bacewicz and Ethel Smyth will be programmed alongside these new works.

Illuminate Season II, which takes place from September to November 2019, sees the formation of the Illuminate string quartet with Clarice Rarity (violin), Christine Cornwell (violin) Katherine Clarke (viola) and Cecelia Bignall (cello), who will be joined by soprano Patricia Auchterlonie. Season II has commissioned Illuminate composers-in-residence as well as Caroline Bordignon, Yfat Soul Zisso and Joanna Ward.

Season II concerts start at University of Bangor’s Second International Conference on Women’s Work in Music on 5 September, highlighting historical composers Rebecca Clarke and Barbara Strozzi. This is particularly significant as 2019 marks the (birth) anniversaries of composer Barbara Strozzi, and the 40th anniversary of the death of Rebecca Clarke.

Illuminate season II will then visit Birmingham, Huddersfield, Oxford, and Cambridge, with programmes featuring music by Ruth Crawford Seeger and Vivian Fine.


Illuminate Women’s Music 2019 is supported by Ambache Charitable Foundation (season I & II), PRS Foundation’s The Open Fund for Organisations (Season I), RVW Trust (Season II) and Arts Council England (Season II).

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