Soprano Justine Aronson To Appear With Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra For ‘Alice, Alma, Clara’

By David Salazar

The Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra is set to put on a concert highlighting the work of three female composers often overshadowed by their more famous husbands, also composers.

Set for Oct. 12, 2018, at the Theater at Holy Trinity Inwood, “Alice, Alma, Clara” will focus on the music of Clara Schumann, Alma Mahler, and Alice Coltrane, who Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra artistic director Thomas Cunningham calls “world-class composers.”

“In the case of Alma and Clara they struggled against societal expectations of what a woman’s compositions should be,” Cunningham notes in a press release. “With the exception of Clara’s piano concerto, both composers were confined to art song, solo piano works and some chamber music.”

Cunningham notes that he has arranged works by the two composers for string orchestra.

“Alice, who later went by Turiyasangtananda (or Turiya), was a harp firebrand, bringing the instrument to the forefront of jazz as a bandleader and composer,” Cunningham adds regarding the final composer on the program. “After the passing of John, Turiya joined an Ashram in California. The works you’ll hear were originally devised solely for members of her Ashram, but later released internationally.”

The concert is set to feature Dr. Ashley Jackson at the harp and soprano Justine Aronson.  Aronson is set to appear with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, Mirror Visions Ensemble, Rendezvous in America, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic throughout the fall and winter season.