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New Women Conductors for Philly;
Last Queen of Hawaii and her music
It’s “This Week in Classical Music”; an update on what’s happening in the classical music world—I’m Randy Kinkel.
The Philadelphia Orchestra has named 2 Women to it's conducting staff.
“Erina Yashima has been appointed the Philadelphia orchestra’s assistant conductor, and Lina Gonzalez-Granados as conducting fellow.
Both are 32 years old, both trained as pianists as well as conductors, and both take up their posts in September.”
“It’s very exciting, a big step. I think the Philadelphia Orchestra is legendary and I know them from a lot of recordings,” said Yashima, who was born, raised, and schooled in Germany and has spent the last three seasons as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprentice.
She expects to be in Philadelphia 30 weeks next season, with exact duties to develop over time.
“These kinds of things you never know until you actually go,” she said, though generally she expected the job to entail tasks like leading education concerts, working on special projects, and assisting conductors in rehearsals.
“It’s very exciting for me to work with Yannick Nézet-Séguin," she said. "I think he is one of the most interesting and talented conductors of his generation.
Gonzalez-Granados is based in Boston, and earned a master’s degree in conducting and a graduate diploma in choral conducting from New England Conservatory.
She has served as assistant conductor for the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia and as cover conductor for the London Philharmonic and Nashville Symphony.
Her Philadelphia Orchestra commitment will bring her to town 10 weeks next season while she simultaneously serves as a conducting fellow with the Seattle Symphony.
Born in Cali, Colombia, she is an advocate for Latin American composers and is the founder of the Boston chamber orchestra Unitas Ensemble.
“Having two women on the staff is really important for me," she said, "and as a Latin American it really makes an impact not only for me but for the people who come after me and are dreaming of an opportunity like this.”
Queen Liliʻuokalani was the last monarch of the Hawaiian Islands, but she also wrote music.
Taught by missionaries, she was a Talented singer with perfect pitch and was proficient in playing the guitar, piano, organ.
As a member of the Hawaiian aristocracy, Liliʻuokalani was exposed equally to both indigenous Hawaiian traditions AND that of Western cultures after the arrival of pineapple farmers and sugar plantation owners.
Her song about a lovers’ last embrace before parting, known as “Aloha ‘Oe,” was published in 1884, and became the best known of Queen Liliʻuokalani’s verses, but it’s just one of more than 200 works she composed during her lifetime.
Liliʻuokalani is best known for her love songs, like “Aloha ‘Oe,” but her less popular tunes are quite political. Many of the Queen’s lesser-known compositions are now being newly appreciated as the Hawaiian language is making a comeback after years of oppression.
The Queen’s Songbook, published in 2014, is the first authoritative published compilation of Liliʻuokalani’s works, and provides insight not only into the history of the Hawaiian Islands but also the personality of the queen herself.
This sense of “aloha”—the traditional Hawaiian greeting that encompasses love, compassion and peace—led Liliʻuokalani and her followers to use her music to protest the annexation of Hawai'i by sharing its culture with the world.
For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, Kbach dot org, be listening each week at this time for another update, Find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram; make sure you check out the Most wanted Hour with Linda Cassidy, playing your top 100 most Wanted classical works, every weekday at noon. I’m Randy Kinkel for “This week in Classical Music” on 89-five KBACH Phoenix and HD, a service of the Maricopa Community Colleges and Arizona State University.