Louise Farrenc
Public Domain

Louise Farrenc (1804-1875)
French composer

As always, March brings a lot to celebrate, including St. Patrick’s Day, the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, and the beginning of spring. March is also Women’s History Month, and we will again highlight women’s contributions to classical music, past and present. Two of the newly released recordings that we’ll share this month feature music by the French composer Louise Farrenc. She was born in 1804 into an artistic Parisian family, and began her studies at the famed Paris Conservatory when she was 15. In spite of the obstacles that professional women faced in the nineteenth century, Farrenc achieved considerable success as a performer, teacher, composer and musical scholar. She was a virtuoso pianist and the only female professor of her time at the Paris Conservatory; in spite of her busy life of performing and teaching, Farrenc also continued to compose, writing symphonies and orchestral overtures, chamber music, songs and choral works, and solo piano pieces. These new recordings explore selections from her orchestral and piano music. A disc from the Solistes Européens of Luxembourg conducted by Christoph König includes Farrenc’s Symphony No. 1, two orchestral overtures, and the Grand Variations on a Theme by Count Gallenberg with pianist Jean Muller. We’ll also hear from pianist Joanne Polk’s new album, Louise Farrenc: Etudes & Variations for Solo Piano. Join us to celebrate the music of Louise Farrenc and many other outstanding female musicians, this month and beyond!