American pianist Sarah Cahill started working on The Future is Female project in 2018. The Future is Female, Vol. 1, ‘In Nature,’ is the first in a three-volume series aiming to celebrate and highlight women composers from the 17th century to the present day.
This album will feature Anna Bon’s Keyboard Sonata in B minor, Op. 2, No. 5; Fanny Mendelssohn’s 4 Lieder, Op. 8; Teresa Carreño’s Un rêve en mer (A Dream at Sea) – Etude-méditation; and Leokadiya Kashperova’s Au sein de la nature (In the Midst of Nature).
The repertoire list continues with Fannie Charles Dillon’s 8 Descriptive Pieces, Op. 20; Vítězslava Kaprálová’s Dubnová preludia (April Preludes), Op. 13; Agi Jambor’s Piano Sonata: To the Victims of Auschwitz; Eve Beglarian’s Fireside with text by Ruth Crawford Seeger; Deirdre Gribbin’s Unseen; and Mary D. Watkins’ Summer Days.
Alongside Vols. 2 and 3 of the series, which will be released later in the year, the series will comprise over 70 compositions by women globally, including many premiere recordings.
Composers in the series will include Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre, Maria de Alvear, Galina Ustvolskaya, Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, Florence Price, Hannah Kendall, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Kui Dong, Meredith Monk, among many others.
In tandem with this album’s release is Cahill’s 6-hour free marathon performance on March 5 to celebrate International Women’s Day at London’s Barbican Conservatory – with each hour featuring music by female composers from 1707 to the present day.
“‘The Future is Female,’ aims to be a corrective towards rebalancing the repertoire,” said Cahill in a press release. “It does not attempt to be exhaustive, in any way, and the three albums in this series represent only a small fraction of the music by women which is waiting to be performed and heard,” she continued.
“At some point I would love to record Kaprálová’s complete April Preludes and Kashperova’s Au sein de la nature, but my main objective in this project is to be inclusive rather than exhaustive,” she added.
This album was recorded over nearly two weeks in Belvedere, California’s St. Stephen’s Church in August 2021. Produced and recorded by Matt Carr, the album is a testament to women in music across the ages.
To listen to and purchase the album, click here.
A snapshot of each of the album’s pieces can be heard below:
Cahill has been described as “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” and “a brilliant and charismatic advocate for modern and contemporary composers,” by NY Times and Time Out NY, respectively.
Having commissioned and premiered over seventy compositions for solo piano, composers who have dedicated works to Cahill include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Julia Wolfe, Yoko Ono, Annea Lockwood, and Ingram Marshall. In 2018, she was named a Champion of New Music, awarded by the American Composers Forum (ACF).