“A Celebration of Women in Music,” Babette Hierholzer says, came about through a meeting of musician friends. Recently Hierholzer has been collaborating with the well-known flutist Eugenia Zukerman, who spends part of her time at a newly acquired Duchess County farm, and soprano Kimberly Kahan.
“We are all friends of different composers,” Hierholzer said, “and we wanted to perform their music. I’ve always wanted to play Joan Tower’s Piano Quintet, so I asked the Kleio Quartet, and they agreed to join me. Eugenia wanted to play a piece by Amy Beach for flute and string quartet. We realized that all the performers are women, so it evolved into an all-women concert.”
Although the composer/friends are all living, the performers decided to mix contemporary works with music by earlier women composers. Thus the program includes songs by Cécile Chaminade, Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel. Four of the contemporary composers will introduce their music: Tower, Victoria Bond, Paula M. Kimper and Karen Lefrak. The program also includes music by 2013 Pulitzer Prizewinner Caroline Shaw and Elaine Fine.
At present the concert is planned as a one-time event. “But if the audience is excited,” Hierholzer says, “there is so much wonderful and unknown music by women composers that we may repeat it. And by mixing contemporary and older music, we are hoping to appeal to a wide audience.”
A Celebration of Women in Music, Babette Hierholzer/Eugenia Zukerman/Kimberly Kahan/Kleio Quartet, Sunday, January 18, 3 p.m., $25/5, Church of the Messiah, 6436 Montgomery Street, Rhinebeck; (845) 876-2870, https://www.rhinebeckmusic.org.