Coming up in Philly Music: Dolce Suono launches a musical lecture series

2 minute read
Mimi Stillman leads a workshop series with Dolce Suono through the first half of 2021. (Photo by Vanessa Briceño-Scherzer.)
Mimi Stillman leads a workshop series with Dolce Suono through the first half of 2021. (Photo by Vanessa Briceño-Scherzer.)

Mimi Stillman has been a busy, creative music director ever since she founded the Dolce Suono Ensemble 15 years ago. She’s been just as industrious and creative during the current shutdown. On January 18 she’ll inaugurate a new enterprise: a series of monthly online lectures on music, available by subscription. The first lecture will discuss American women composers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries—a group that includes several women that were new to audiences when Stillman started scheduling their work on Dolce Suono programs. The other lectures will cover subjects such as Latin American chamber music, African American influences on Western classical music, and the music our political leaders listened to when Philadelphia was the capital of the United States. The series will include six lectures and run through June 2021.

Lifelong vocation

Stillman entered the Curtis Institute of Music when she was 12 years old. She embarked on her career as a professional flutist as a teenager, continuing her education while doing so. She holds an MA in history from the University of Pennsylvania, and she’s taught at the Moore College of Art. Her academic writing credits include publications in the Oxford Dictionary of the Modern World, Flutist Quarterly, and the journal of the Mozart Society of America.

A growing online library

The lectures will include contributions from other Dolce Suono artists and they’ll be correlated with videos from Dolce Suono performances. Dolce Suono has already curated an expansive and growing music video library on YouTube. You can start with pieces that will brighten your day like this allegro movement of Jacque Ibert's three short pieces for wind quintent and this Saint-Saens Tarentella (with Anthony McGill on clarinet) and proceed from there.

The library includes complete multimovement works but it also houses a good selection of short pieces—lasting four or five minutes—that you can dip into when you feel like a break. Stillman has a good feel for the lengths that work on the internet and the way people fit it into their schedules. The lectures will each last 25 minutes, and they’ll stay live for 30 days. She’ll issue a new one each month through June.

What, When, Where, and Accessibility:

Mimi Stillman and Dolce Suono will present the DSE Online Lecture Series 2021 on Monday, January 18, starting with the first lecture “Women Composer Pioneers.” A subscription to the entire series costs $90 and you can subscribe online.

Image Description: Mimi Stillman poses in a side street in the city, hand on hip, wearing a formal red off-the-shoulder dress.

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