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Performers

Date & Time

Monday Mon, 15 Jan 2024

Location

Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

This concert features songs representing women and their perspectives in music. 

Female composers of Western classical music in the past were often neglected, underestimated, frowned upon or derided in comparison with their male colleagues. Today the situation has changed and contemporary women composers are contributing many newly commissioned works. Some of the greatest composers of our time, such as Kaija Saariaho from Finland and Unsuk Chin from South Korea, have been captivating audiences for a few decades. Allowing only one half of the world to speak in music, would make us poor, musically.

This programme honours some of the exceptional women composers of the past: Clara Schumann, Fanny Mendelssohn Hänsel, Cécile Chaminade and Rebecca Clarke. It also highlights how male composers such as Gustav Mahler, Robert Schumann and Gustav Holst have represented women’s perspectives with sensitivity in their compositions.

Image credits:
Header and poster – Women composers (left to right): Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel, Clara Schumann, Cécile Chaminade and Rebecca Clarke.

Supported by:
   

Performers

Maria Forsström

Mezzo-Soprano

Maria Forsström is equally at ease on the opera stage, in the symphonic repertoire or at a Lieder recital. First having studied church music, piano and conducting at The Royal College of Music in Stockholm, at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, and at The Rimsky-Korsakov St. Petersburg State Conservatory – she then realized she wanted to be the instrument herself and started singing at the age of 33. She is much appreciated for her intelligent musicianship and great enjoyment of exploring different musical styles from early Baroque, the languid soundscapes of the late Romantics, to newly commissioned music.

Maria Forsström has performed, toured, and recorded with Teodor Currentzis and Musica Aeterna, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Perm Opera House, Michailovsky Opera, St. Petersburg, Novaya Opera, Moscow, Helsinki Opera House, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra, Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, La Chambre Philharmonique, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, Südwest-Deutsches Philharmonie, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, and Malmö Symphony Orchestra, with conductors such as Christoph Eschenbach, Masaaki Suzuki, Thomas Dausgaard, Edward Gardner, and Jacek Kaspszyk among others.

In 2019, Maria Forsström won 1st prize for Best Musician at the long-established Varazdin Baroque Festival, Croatia, with songs by Caccini, Caldara, Frescobaldi, Kapsberger, Stefano Landi, Mazzocchi, Monteverdi, Sances, and Strozzi. Maria has recorded for Musica Rediviva, Sony Classical, Chandos Records, and BIS. In 2021, she appeared on BIS Records in Monteverdi ‘s L’Orfeo as La Messaggera, with great reviews.

In October 2021, she joined The Oxford Lieder Festival for the sixth time since 2014 with the pianist Matti Hirvonen, and she currently performs the Schubert Winterreise together with acclaimed pianist Bengt Forsberg.

During the 2023-24 season, Maria dedicates herself to the creative programming of chamber music: a Winterreise with video scenography by Danish artist Lene Juhl, commissioning new music for her trio of vibraphone/marimba/organ/piano and voice, and collaborating with among others the writer and 2020 Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück. In March 2023, Maria Forsström sang the main role in a new chamber opera by Norwegian composer and pianist Wolfgang Plagge.

Bengt Forsberg

Piano

Bengt Forsberg studied at the Gothenburg School of Music and Musicology, where he first majored in organ, receiving his soloist’s diploma as pianist in 1978. He went on to continue his training with Peter Feuchtwanger in London and Herman D Koppel in Copenhagen. Much of Forsberg’s renown is focused on his work as a chamber musician, both in Sweden and abroad. Among his regular partners are prominent instrumentalists, such as the cellist Mats Lidström and the violinist Nils-Erik Sparf.

His collaboration with the mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter has been particularly successful and they regularly perform all over the world. They have also made many joint recordings, which have received great international acclaim, including a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album.

Bengt Forsberg also appears as a soloist with orchestra and has performed with all the major Swedish symphony orchestras, as well as a number of international ones. His repertoire is exceptionally wide and he has become particularly renowned for playing unknown music by well-known composers, as well as for exploring lesser-known and unjustly neglected composers, such as Medtner, Korngold, Alkan, Chabrier, and Percy Grainger. He is also the music director of a well-regarded chamber music series in Stockholm.

Bengt Forsberg has been a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music since 1997.