It was the perfect way to celebrate International Women’s Day. The full moon was rising over the Sydney Opera House and shimmering on the harbour. Inside the Australian Music Centre we were listening to music by Australia’s women composers. It was the Sydney launch of Women of Note.
The launch was smaller than Perth but still worthwhile. Professor Anne Boyd officially launched the book with a speech of great enthusiasm and warmth.
Elena Kats-Chernin and Tamara Anna Cislowska performed Elena’s latest piano work Vocalise. Elena says her pieces are her diary; the thoughts flow from her mind through her fingers. I have never felt that more than at this performance as she battled sciatica nerve pain to perform her lyrical but stormy work (commissioned originally by the Melbourne Mental Health Research Institute).
Michael Duke (Head of Woodwind at Sydney Con) and David Howie performed Undercurrent by Katy Abbott. In the book Katy is in the Emerging Voices section but in the past few years she has shot well past this to become a well-established composer.
It was wonderful to catch up with some of the women I interviewed for the book, and have a celebratory dinner party afterwards. Below L-R Anne Boyd, me, Becky Llewellyn, Gail Priest, Elena Kats-Chernin.
Women of Note has gone national! Thanks to all those who have helped it make it to the shelves. It is so exciting to know that people are reading about these amazing women and their music. I have peace now that the missing jigsaw pieces of Australia’s music history are in place.
Well done Ros, great to finally have been able to meet and listen to the music of the composers you have been writing about.