© 2024 WXXI Public Broadcasting, 280 State St. Rochester, NY 14614, (585) 325-7500
Celebrating 50 years on FM 91.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
This is a place where our classical hosts, interns and artists can share their stories, viewpoints and point of view on topics related to classical music and the arts in general. Come back to this page often to read the latest and share your comments.

Eastman-Rochester Chorus presents Mass in D by Dame Ethel Smyth - Fri 12/8 @ 7:30pm Kodak Hall

This Friday, 12/8 @ 7:30pm the Eastman-Rochester Chorus, Eastman Chorale, and Eastman School Symphony Orchestra under William Weinert will present a rare performance of a large-scale choral work by a fascinating and important female composer. The concert is free and open to the public.

Dame Ethel Smyth, composer
Dame Ethel Smyth, composer

Dame Ethel Mary Smyth (1858-1944) was not an obscure figure during her lifetime, but her road to becoming a respected composer in Victorian England was far from smooth. Smyth became a musician over her family’s strong objections, and studied in Leipzig, where she encountered such contemporaries as Brahms, Grieg, Tchaikovsky, and Dvořák.

Smyth’s Mass in D, written when she was in her thirties and premiered in 1891, is a major work, nearly an hour long and calling for chorus, four vocal soloists, and a large orchestra. Eastman’s student vocal soloists are Mary Fetterman, soprano; Alicia Esmeralda Barry, alto; Xuyue Quing, tenor; and Henry Griffin, baritone.

William Weinert, Eastman’s director of choral activities, says Smyth’s Mass in D is an easy piece to like. “It’s not quite like any other Mass setting. It most reminds me of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis. Smyth often has the same energy, and like Beethoven, her music is full of sudden contrasts and surprises. But also as in Beethoven, the surprises are skillfully worked into a larger structure.”

Read the full story about Smyth and this concert at Eastman.