Over the weekend, I checked out a chamber music concert.
The concert was at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Manhattanville. It featured members of the New York City Housing Authority Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Janet Wolfe founded the orchestra in 1971 and she still assists in organizing performances, many of which she attends. I met Ms. Wolfe at the concert and she spoke glowingly about the many musicians she has met and worked with throughout the years. That conversation led me to think about the numerous and often unheralded women that have indirectly made possible much of the music we enjoy.
While preparing this week’s programs for example, I ran across stories about Joseph Haydn writing piano sonatas for Marianne von Genzinger a women he was attracted to. Two weeks ago I programmed a piece by Rachmaninov which he composed for three sisters, one of which he was attracted to. Then there’s Beethoven and Giulietta Guicciardi, the dedicatee of his Moonlight Sonata and other pieces. So many great works by men were written for women, inspired by women or commissioned by a woman. Let's create a list of women who have bankrolled the composers.