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Judith Lynn Stillman’s Women Trailblazers in Music
November 4 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
An event every day that begins at 8:00 pm, repeating until November 5, 2021
Experience a groundbreaking new film spotlighting diverse women composers spanning twelve centuries.
Film Premiere and Live Performance November 4, 2021, 7:30 PM
Film also streaming on the FirstWorks Virtual Stage November 5, 2021, 8 PM EST
“Women Trailblazers in Music” takes us on a journey with tunes and tales by — and about — pioneering women composers who were all but expunged from history. The quarantine film, featuring twenty-five celebrated performers, was created remotely by Stillman in 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioned by FirstWorks and Artists & Activists Productions, and premiering at Rhode Island College, the film features stories rarely heard, and music not often played.
Award-winning pianist and composer, Judith Lynn Stillman, serves as filmmaker, pianist, writer, and artistic director. Actor Becky Bass appears as Florence Price, the first Black woman composer to have her music played by a major symphony orchestra. Other notable performers include Jeanine Kane of the Gamm Theatre, Emmy award-winning actor Kate Burton, cellist Aristides Rivas, sopranos Michelle Esposito and Mia Douglas and Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra Concertmaster Charles Dimmick.
“These extraordinary women composers have been marginalized, repressed, and shamefully neglected, but should be household names,” said Stillman.
The film premiere will take place at Rhode Island College’s Sapinsley Hall in the Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts on Thursday, November 4th at 7:30 PM (with a preview for invited schools at 12:30 PM). A live concert showcasing additional music composed by women and including performers from the film will follow the screening.
“Women Trailblazers in Music” will also stream on the FirstWorks Virtual Stage on Friday, November 5 at 8 PM. Judith will join viewers on our live chat feature during the stream to answer questions.
Tickets are free and reservations are required for access to both the Live and Streaming performances.
*Reservations for the November 4 premiere event are processed by Rhode Island College Box Office. Limit 2 tickets per order. Online tickets through the RIC Box Office are subject to handling fees.
FirstWorks Local Artist Commissions
The commissioning of works is FirstWorks’ latest initiative to support Rhode Island’s arts community, and speaks to the organization’s commitment to local artists as essential partners and to supporting “firsts” in the arts. Offering platforms for local artists to create and present their work is a part of FirstWorks’ “Raise Your Voice” programming, a thematic initiative that amplifies diverse voices and celebrates difference through the arts.
This project is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act from the National Endowment for the Arts. This project is also supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how National Endowment for the Arts grants impact individuals and communities, visit http://www.arts.gov.