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Season Concert

Women of the Baroque

Dawn Posey, violin
Maya Kherani, soprano
Byron Schenkman, harpsichord
Gus Denhard, theorbo
January 28, 2024
3:00 pm
Mount Baker Theatre


Marianna Martines | Symphony in C Major
Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre | Sonata No. 2 for Two Violins and Basso Continuo in Bb Major
Julie Candeille | Keyboard Concerto in D Major, Op. 2
Barbara Strozzi | Lagrime Mie, Lamento
Barbara Strozzi | Che Si Può Fare
Maddalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen | Violin Concerto in A Major, Op. 3, No. 3

Enjoy an “unconducted” program, led by Concertmaster Dawn Posey and featuring works by Marianna Martines, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Julie Candeille, Barbara Strozzi, and Maddalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen. Every piece on the program is written by a woman from the baroque and early classical periods.

In the first half, we’ll be performing Marianna Martines’ Symphony in C Major. Marianna Martines (1744- 1812) was a renowned singer, harpsichord player, and composer in mid-18th century Vienna. A peer of Haydn and Mozart, Martines composed over 200 works. Light and rhythmic, the Symphony in C Major is Martines’ only symphony and was composed when she was just 24 years old. This is the first known symphony written by a female composer during this time. Martines owes her Spanish-sounding last name to her paternal grandfather who was a Spanish soldier. 

Next, you’ll hear Gus Denhard join on the theorbo for Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s Sonata No. 2 for Two Violins and Basso Continuo in Bb Major arranged by N. Canzano. Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729) was a child prodigy and the first French woman to write an opera.

Then, we will be joined by esteemed harpsichordist Byron Schenkman for Julie Candeille’s Keyboard Concerto in D Major, Op. 2. French composer and child prodigy, Julie Candeille (1767-1834) also played the harpsichord and composed a number of works for the instrument, which are celebrated as virtuosic and melodic.

In the second half, Soprano Maya Kherani will join the strings for two works by Barbara Strozzi: Lagrime Mie (translated as “My Tears, Lament”) and Che Si Può Fare (translated as “What can you do”). Born in Venice, Strozzi was considered one of the most prolific composers of her time, and these two works are achingly beautiful. Indian-American soprano Maya Kherani has been lauded for her vibrant voice and exciting characterizations in repertoire from the Baroque to the modern. San Francisco Classical Voice recognizes her as “obviously an enormous talent” and the Boston Music Intelligencer applauds her performances as evoking “the sparkling effervescence of a fine champagne.”

Finally, Violinist Dawn Posey will close out the program with Maddalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen’s Violin Concerto in A Major, Op. 3, No. 3. Magdalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen (1745-1818)  was a successful violinist and composer in Georgian England. She studied with the virtuoso Tartini, initiating contact herself at age 14. She wrote several string quartets, violin concertos, trios, and violin duets.

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from these incredible composers who you may not have encountered before. This will be an afternoon to remember!

Soprano Maya Kherani [was] stunning in her red ensemble, her expressive, bell-like vocals sparkling brighter than her jewels. She demanded attention from the start..."
-Harvard Crimson

Of Note

The string players will be playing with baroque bows at this concert. Baroque bows are shorter and lighter than their modern counterparts, which makes them particularly helpful for the quick, light articulations commonly found in baroque music.

Marianna Martines’ Symphony in C Major is the first known symphony written by a female composer.

Unlike a traditional orchestral concert, this concert will not be led by a conductor. Instead, Concertmaster Dawn Posey will lead the program while performing. Wow!

The theorbo is a plucked string instrument of the lute family, with an extended neck and a second pegbox. Have you heard a theorbo before?

Experience One-of-A-Kind Moments!

Check out our BSO Health & Safety Guidelines and Concert FAQs to find out more about how we are working to keep you safe while sharing the joy of LIVE music.

Tickets: $15 to $42

A Pre-Concert Lecture about the program will take place at 2:15PM in the Walton Theatre. Doors open at 2PM and seating is limited, so please plan accordingly. These lectures are free for ticket-holders.

This concert qualifies for Classical Kids, Take-A-Teen, and Student Rush ticket discounts. Visit to learn more.

*All programs subject to change