“In a year where we're celebrating 100 years of the suffragette movement and the right to vote, I think that we can't get enough spotlight on women and the work that we've done in the world,” Zachary said. “This concert broadens how you see our world and how you see women's place in this world.”
The recital will be performed by two female musicians, soprano Jeanne Fischer and pianist Mimi Solomon, and will include accompaniment on period-specific 19th century instruments. Solomon will be performing on a few different keyboard instruments, including an authentic 1843 Pleyel piano.
The concert will imitate a European salon, a romantic-era social gathering that encouraged Enlightenment thought and cultural expansion. Salons typically took place within a home and were often the closest female composers could get to a performance hall.
“We're trying to recreate that sort of intimate performance environment with combining music and literature and visual art,” Fischer said. “So it's kind of a different experience from a usual concert.”
Fischer said that despite the fact that the pieces included in the concert were composed nearly 200 years ago, they still have the capacity to transcend time and be relevant today.
“I think the main themes in lots of this music is nature and love, and how love inspires an appreciation of nature, and how an appreciation of nature inspires love,” Fischer said. “Those are things that are still relevant today, and maybe even more so because we spend less time out in nature and just contemplating meaning and relationship.”
The concert is an inspiring way for a modern audience to experience the work of 19th century female composers, and then translate appreciation for their work into the 21st century, Zachary said.
“I hope people take away a greater respect for these women and their music,” Zachary said. “I hope people search out other female composers that maybe they're not as familiar with and find women in music today who are really making waves and breaking boundaries.”
Fischer said that it’s important to experience this historical music the way it was originally performed, but that it is just as meaningful to listen to this music from a modern perspective.
“I hope people take away an appreciation for historically informed performance,” Fischer said. “Putting something in context can give it new meaning, but also the idea that these women were very serious artists is really important.”
Solomon said she hopes the performance of these artists serves as a gratifying way for audiences to experience unfamiliar music.
“The sounds of the 19th century might not always be what you expected, whether it's the voice of the composers or of these instruments that aren't performed very often,” Solomon said. “I think on one level it can be an enjoyable evening of music, and hopefully something that also gets you thinking afterwards.”