Articles tagged with: Lauretta Bloomer

Music by Women Composers

Music by Women Composers

Jackdaws Tutor Lauretta BloomerA new course on the Jackdaws calendar in 2015 is “Women Composers for Piano” by Lauretta Bloomer.

The weekend will draw attention to music written by female composers throughout history. Join us now for a whistle-stop tour of five major female composers spanning the last two hundred years to highlight some of the wonderful music you might not be familiar with.

Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 – 1847)
Like her younger brother, Fanny Hensel (nee Mendelssohn) wrote many short character pieces for piano as was to become typical of Romanic piano repertoire. She was inventive (her own Lieder ohne Wörte likely pre-date Felix’s) and prolific, with a flowing stream of music from the age of 14 until her early death less than 30 years later. Her inspiration drew from many contemporary sources including Goethe. She wrote in the major compositional forms for chamber including Piano Sonata, Trio, Song, Piano Suite (The impressive Das Jahr) and String Quartet with the notable exception of any large scale Symphonies or Concerti.

Clara Schumann (1819 – 1896)
14 years younger than Fanny Hensel, Clara was raised on a diet of daily one hour music lessons. As a pianist, many of the finest works of the early Romantic era were written for her, and as a composer, she began early with a piano concerto at 14(!) and later concentrated on shorter forms such as her numerous Romances and the wonderful Soirees Musicales, Op 6. Lauretta will play Clara’s “Variations on a Theme of Robert Schumann” to open the course. She is probably the most widely known female composer.

Amy Beach (1867 – 1944)

Amy Beach

Amy Beach, image George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress)

The American composer Amy Beach is truly a stand alone figure in American muscial history, just as her contemporary Dame Ethel Smyth (1858 – 1944) is in British. Both composed in every major form – with Concerti, Symphonies, Choral music, Songs, Masses and even opera. Beach’s large number of piano pieces are in the late Romantic style of her contemporaries and range from the miniature Children’s Album op. 36, via song transcriptions up to the challenging Variations on Balkan Themes. Her music is confident and has the craftsmanship expected of a composer of the highest order. Smyth’s piano music equally rewards investigation, which although more conservative than Beach’s, spans a double disk set and features three sonatas and the wondefully titled “Variations on an Original Theme (of an Exceedingly Dismal nature) in Db Major”!

Sofia Gubaidulina (b. 1931)
A composer between eras, Gubaidulina’s music uses traditional forms (Toccata, Suite, Sonata and Chaconne) but she presents them with a refreshing modern approach. She often writes for unusual instruments or combinations, including saxophone quartet, 12 celli, music with tape and the waterphone. She makes use of new sonorities with occasional extended techniques to a musical, rather than gimmicky, effect. Her most well known work for piano, Musical Toys is a suite of 14 charming pieces imitating at various times a musical sleigh, a mechanical organ, a woodpecker and musicians in the forest. A vast quantity of her music is still unrecorded, but there are several wonderful CDs of her complete piano music available.

Kaija Saariaho (b. 1952)

Kaija Saariaho, Image musicalcriticism.com

Kaija Saariaho, Image musicalcriticism.com

Still active Kaija Saariaho has written three operas to date, as well as numerous large scale works for orchestra. Her piano concerto includes a tape of recorded birdsong and the wonderful Piano Sonata employs Debussy-like textures and beautiful sweeping arpeggios, far from the aggressive and hostile modern sonorities one might expect of a post-war composer. Her output for piano also includes her Prelude and Ballade, both written within the past 10 years, which make delightful contemporary additions to any pianist’s repertoire.

Lauretta has been to Jackdaws before, and received this wonderful, warm write up from one participant…

“We were a small group, so we each received a lot of attention. Lauretta was generous, caring and detailed in her teaching, and now that I have has a week to assimilate the work into my practice, I think it has made a genuine difference to my pieces. I think Lauretta managed the different needs and standards of the participants well, giving equal time to each person. The group session on warm up exercises was also very helpful. I understand that this was a new course, so I very much hope that it was a positive experience for Lauretta too! With best wishes, and thanks to Lauretta.”

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 March
Women Composers for Piano
Lauretta Bloomer
Level: All
Fee: £190
View the Course Page

Lauretta Bloomer joins Jackdaws

Lauretta Bloomer joins Jackdaws

Jackdaws Tutor Lauretta Bloomer

Jackdaws Tutor Lauretta Bloomer

Join us in welcoming our newest tutor to Jackdaws – Lauretta Bloomer.

We are very excited to have Lauretta, who comes to us at the recommendation of experienced Jackdaws piano tutor James Lisney, and we are sure she is going to fit right in at her first course next month.

Lauretta comes from a very musical background:
Lauretta Bloomer studied piano with Yonty Solomon at the Royal College of Music in London and later in Vienna at the Hochschule für Muziek with Georg Ebert and Heinz Medjimorec where she was able to develop her knowledge and love for the music of the Viennese Schools and to specialise in chamber music. As soloist, chamber musician, and vocal accompanist, Lauretta has played concerts throughout Europe, toured the US and more recently performed in Asia and Australia.

Lauretta has been invited as a guest at many international music festivals and has a broad repertoire encompassing all periods and styles. She is equally at home playing on period instruments of performing contemporary music. Recent concerts and recordings include the complete songs of Clara Schumann, Pierrot Lunaire, Vaughan Williams’ Piano Quintet, Mendelssohn’s Piano Sextet and Quartets as well as works by Brett Dean, Kerry Turner, Luciano Berio and George Benjamin.
Lauretta is an experienced teacher. Besides her own teaching in Amsterdam, she has given lecture recitals in the UK & Europe, and has given master classes in the United States in chamber music and piano accompaniment.

Lauretta will lead her first weekend piano course at Jackdaws “Playing with Poise” from Friday 27 to Sunday 29 September

Art is a beautiful gift. What is more beautiful, than to clothe one’s feelings in sounds; what a comfort in sad hours, what a pleasure, what a wonderful feeling, to provide an hour of happiness to others. And what a sublime feeling to pursue art, so that one gives one’s life for it.” Clara Schumann.

These words reflect English born pianist Lauretta Bloomer’s own feelings towards music and the performing of it. This piano course is open to all who love playing the piano or those who are curious and would like to know more about it. We will work on fingering, correct use of the thumb, pedalling and posture, as well as tone production. The course will be divided into two parts with individual tuition and group participation, during which aspects of technique and musical interpretation will be covered. Participants will be encouraged to take turns to play pieces they are working on or would like to improve.

In a fun, relaxed and warmhearted atmosphere it is hoped that everyone will be inspired to take part and to learn from each other.

Course details:
Playing with Poise
Course No. 3058
Level: All levels welcome.
Fee £180
B&B accommodation available from £30 per night
Click here to book

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