Music for International Women’s Day

March 8, 2017, 10:00 pm

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We’ve had the privilege of speaking with incredible women in contemporary music over the last few years. Our program celebrates the diverse composers and performers who are expanding the definitions of classical music. We celebrate International Women’s Day today by highlighting clips from previous interviews. Full shows are linked to each composer of performers name.


Errollyn Wallen is Belize-born British composer who is well known for her avant-garde classical compositions as well as her popular songwriting.

In 1990, Errollyn was working with South African musicians in London who rumored that Nelson Mandela was about to be released from prison. The knowledge of his release, a man who she considered to be “the greatest hero of our time” sparked her inspiration to write “In Our Lifetime”

She speaks about how this event gave new meaning to her music writing.


Maya Beiser is a charismatic cello player who has performed with the world’s most prestigious stages, collaborated with critically acclaimed composers, and has set the soundtrack to films. She is an artist in the true sense of the world, always pushing the boundaries of what cello performance looks and sounds like.

Earlier this year she told The Guardian, “I think I was born a nonconformist.”

Maya Beiser spoke with Relevant Tones about branching out of classical music and collaborating with unique composers such as Michael Harrison. In the clip below, Maya talks about how Michael uses an ancient technique of tuning instruments in order to get a new sound for their collaborative album, “Time Loops.”



Laura Schwendinger is a composer who is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She talks about her piece, “Waking Dream” which she calls a “love song” to her friend Christina Jennings and her beautiful flute playing. The title, holds a double meaning of the lightness and darkness of a waking dream.