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Austin Symphony Orchestra is Celebrating Female Composers All Month

Michelle Schumann for Austin Woman

March 4, 2019

I am not the first person to go on and on about what a fantastic city Austin is, but let me tell you, as a creative artist, Austin is the best! It has this perfect amalgamation of creativity, inspiration, resources and intelligence. And when I first came to Austin a little more than 20 years ago, I was immediately captivated by the seemingly endless amount of energy and spirit that radiated from the city. One of my favorite things is that Austin is an incredibly collaboration-hungry city.

So many people from so many different corners of the art world are constantly interested in working together, and I’ve been lucky to be a part of many partnerships. I’ve had great performing relationships with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, like the exciting concert I am joining them for this month; with visual artists and lighting designers I’ve worked with to create new visions of traditional works; and with fantastic choreographers I’ve worked with (Stephen Mills from Ballet Austin and David Justin) to provide vibrant live music for inspired new dances. I’ve collaborated with film, theater and opera in innovative ways. I’ve had the experience of recording a Grammy-nominated CD with the internationally acclaimed, locally based Conspirare Company of Voices, and as the artistic director of the Austin Chamber Music Center, I’ve partnered with countless arts organizations to produce fun, thought-provoking, imaginative, unexpected works.

The performing arts are equalizing in so many ways. Great talent can be born anywhere, and people from all walks of life can appreciate the arts in many different ways. As a female pianist, I’ve been very fortunate to have an exceptional experience of equality and fairness. The great thing is that music starts with sound. You can close your eyes and listen to an instrumentalist of any sort and you would never know whether that person is a man or a woman. Relatively speaking, music performance is a level playing field and because of this, historically, there have been more successful women in this field than most others.

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