Sunday Recital Series Celebrates Women’s History Month

The Sunday Recital Series at Mary Baldwin University continues with a celebration of Women’s History Month, featuring violinist Elise Blake, hornist Abigail Pack, and pianist Sheng-Yuan Kuan, at 3 p.m. on March 30 in Francis Auditorium. They will perform the Horn Trio of Johannes Brahms, along with three new works by successful living female composers.

“We think the audience will enjoy the variety on this program,” said Blake.

The musicians will open with Nancy Van de Vate’s appealing new trio, which was commissioned by Pack. Van de Vate is a prolific American composer currently living in Vienna, Austria. Next on the program is St. Andrew’s Bones, a trio by British composer Sally Beamish whose many influences include jazz and Scottish traditional music. Blake explains that, for this piece, the composer was “inspired by medieval bells and cathedrals and the bones of saints.” Blake and Kuan will also perform Jennifer Higdon’s Nocturne, a piece which Higdon describes as “that piece of night — night of peace.” The musicians will close the program with a familiar work, Brahms’s Horn Trio.

Blake’s busy performance schedule has recently taken her to New York, Rome, and Strasbourg, and she also performs with the Roanoke, Richmond, and Virginia Symphonies, along with the Wintergreen Performing Arts Festival Orchestra and the Ash Lawn Opera Orchestra. She is on the faculty at Mary Baldwin University and holds degrees from the Peabody Conservatory and Boston University.

Pack recently performed with the Monarch Brass Ensemble, a nationally recognized all-women brass ensemble, and she was also a featured artist at the International Horn Symposium in Cape Town, South Africa.  She is on the faculty at the University of North Carolina–Greensboro and also performs with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival, and the North Carolina Symphony.

Kuan has performed at the Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall, Taiwan National Concert Hall, and Musikverein in Vienna. She is a member of the collaborative piano faculty at the Heifetz International Music Institute and also serves as the collaborative pianist at Lynn University.

Single tickets for the March 30 recital may be purchased at the door: $5 for the general public and $4 for students and seniors (free for Mary Baldwin students). For more information call 540-887-7294 or visit Music at Mary Baldwin.