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OUT NOW | Violinist Lara St. John Releases New Album: “she/her/hers”

Released on Ancalagon Records, this album includes 17 new pieces that are part of a larger project fighting for women’s rights and historically marginalized groups

 

Titled “♀she/her/hers,” Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John’s new album features 17 original solo violin works by 12 female composers. Part of St John’s mission to fight for equality and justice, the release also includes five world premiere recordings. 

Released on St John’s own label, Ancalagon — which she founded in 1999 — this album includes Ana Sokolović’s Danza Nos. 2 and 4, pieces from Gabriela Lena Frank’s Suite Mestiza, Jessica Meyer’s Confronting the Sky, Jessie Montgomery’s Rhapsody No. 2, and Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt Gramatté’s Caprices Nos. 1, 2, and 5.

The world premiere recordings comprise Milica Paranosic’s Bubamara, Adah Kaplan’s Whitewashed, Micheline Coulombe St. Marcoux’s Integration II, Melissa Dunphy’s Kommós, Laura de Rover’s Together Alone, a violin arrangement of Valerie Coleman’s Danza de la Mariposa, and an arrangement for violin of Laurie Anderson’s Statue of Liberty.

St. John’s fight for women and historically marginalized groups stemmed from her being a sexual abuse victim at age 14, whilst a student at the Curtis Institute of Music — the experience of which she revealed in 2019. 

Since then, St. John has aimed to give a voice to the voiceless and help victims of abuse to reclaim their stories. She is currently working on “Dear Lara,” a documentary to be released next year that will uncover rape and child abuse in music schools around the world, while also investigating those who commit these crimes and institutions that enable and protect them.

“As someone who is only too well aware of how the cards are stacked against women in music, I have spent a lot of time listening to works by those who have historically – and more recently – broken through the composition brotherhood,” St. John said

“During the pandemic, I decided to record an album of solo violin works written by these remarkable women,” she continued. “Some were composed for me, some I arranged, and others I found to be impressive works of new violinistic ideas. Thus was created, with the help of my audio engineer Laura de Rover, ♀she/her/hers.”

To purchase and listen to the album, click here.

 

Below is a selection of Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt Gramatté's piece featuring dancer Stephanie Cadman:

 

 

St. John began playing the violin at only age two. She gave her debut performance with orchestra at age four and her European debut with the Gulbenkian Orchestra at age 10. In the years following, she toured Spain, France, Portugal, and Hungary, and started studying at the Curtis Institute. Her teachers have included Felix Galimir and Joey Corpus. In 2020, she was appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada. St. John owns and performs on the 1779 “Ex-Salabue” Guadagnini violin.


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