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31 January 2019

Premieres at the Women in Music Festival (Melbourne 9-10 March)

Composer Anne Cawrse has written a new work for soprano Greta Bradman Image: Composer Anne Cawrse has written a new work for soprano Greta Bradman  

The inaugural Women in Music Festival will be held in Melbourne on 9-10 March 2019, and will feature a two-night music program curated by the festival's artistic director, violinist Monica Curro. Several new Australian works will be premiered over the weekend, including a new composition for soprano, violin and piano by Anne Cawrse, recipient of the Plexus 2019 Women in Music Commission. Cawrse's work will be performed by Greta Bradman with PLEXUS members, Monica Curro and Stefan Cassomenos. Composer Jessica Wells has written music for the surviving 17-minute extract of a 1914 silent film Neptune's Daughter, for performance by Plexus. An announcement regarding a new Australian work will follow at the beginning of February, when the winner of the Emerging Composer Competition will be made public. The premiere of this winning work will take place on Sunday 10 March, performed by soprano Deborah Cheetham, with Curro and Cassomenos.

On Saturday night, storyteller and musician Rachel Shields, a descendant of the Weilwan and Gamilaroi peoples, will be narrating her work Yuluwurri Gaayli - Rainbow Child, with the Gamilaroi and English text accompanied by double bass improvisations by composer and multi-instrumentalist Rosie Westbrook. The Sunday concert will include a dance interpretation of this work. The weekend's program will also feature performances by jazz vocalist Michelle Nicolle, and a new game created by Melbourne-based composer and sound designer Maize Wallin.

On Saturday afternoon, Cat Hope will revisit her 2018 Peggy Glanville-Hicks Address as part of the festival.

The festival venue will be the RMIT University's Storey Hall on Swanston Street: built in the 1880s, the hall an important place of social and political protest over several decades. During WWI it belonged to a feminist pacifist organisation called the Women's Political Association and saw some of Melbourne's largest anti-conscription public meetings and rallies.

> See the festival website for more information and program details.

[Edited 5 February - Neptune's Daughter]

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