The Caldwell University Concert Series will celebrate Women’s History Month with the concert “Uncommon Women,” featuring soprano Laura Greenwald and pianist Warren Helms. The performance will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, March 13, in the Alumni Theatre. “Uncommon Women” will feature songs by or about women who were uncommon in their time. Selections will include the biblical “Women of Valor” by Philadelphia composer Andrea Clearfield, a baroque cantata by Venetian Barbara Strozzi, songs by pianist/composer Clara Wieck Schumann and spirituals arranged by women.
Dr. Greenwald, an accomplished soloist, has been director of the concert series for 20 years.
Raising the profile of women musicians has been her passion since she learned decades ago that many women performers and composers were not mentioned in music history books. Greenwald says that someone recommended she listen to a recording of soprano Arlene Auger performing “Sonnets from the Portuguese” by Grammy-winning American composer Libby Larsen. Greenwald was then inspired to focus her doctoral dissertation on Larsen and to do further research women in music. “I was drawn to create recitals of music by women composers. One of my favorites was titled ‘Songs with Family Ties,’” she says.
That recital included songs by Felix Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny, baroque composer Giulio Caccini and his two daughters, Francesca and Settimia, and Robert Schumann and his wife Clara. “I just went through the ages and found these families of musicians where the men were famous and the women were unpublished. And now the women are published.” The upcoming program will include the songs of Clara Schumann and one of the Larsen settings that sparked Greenwald’s research. “I felt that I had to include the song that started this journey as well as some of my favorites along the way.”
General admission for most concerts is $20; tickets for students and seniors are $10. Tickets will be available online, through mail order and at the door. For more information, contact Laura Greenwald at 973-618-3520.