With the momentum from a wonderful 2023 LunART Festival, LunART is beyond excited to kick off their 23.24 season with a concert “Voices Unbound'' on September 30th at the Arts and Literature Laboratory. The LunART Chamber Collective will be performing pieces written by a variety of female composers including Gabriela Ortiz, Patricia Lopes, Judith Zaimont and Linda Dusman.
This concert will be taking place with the support of International Alliance of Women in Music (IAWM), an international organization “...that fosters and encourages the activities of women in music,” (https://iawm.org/). The president, Christina Rusnak, is leading the group in an effort to get women the recognition they deserve. Rusnak has been a part of IAWM since 2014.
“I became aware of IAWM in graduate school, and joined IAWM in 2014. I applied to the board in 2015. I served as Treasurer from 2016-2019 and as President from 2020-2023,” Rusnak explained.
In 2022, LunART won IAWM’s programming award, recognizing LunART’s effort to give women in the arts more attention. The partnership with LunART and IAWM is extremely valuable as it allows for a larger audience to witness these pieces by women that may have not been displayed in a concert setting.
“Often in the concert hall, women's music represents a very small percentage of the pieces publicly performed. So much high quality music remains unknown in the world because of the biased perspective in performing organization that the great composers were/are predominantly men. LunART is succeeding to bring awareness of Women's music to both the Madison community and to the world. IAWM is thrilled to be partnering to help expand the repertoire through our annual concert call,” Rusnak states.
This idea was echoed by one of the composers, Patricia Lopes, whose piece will be performed at the concert. When asked about the value of a concert like this, she states that it is something unmeasurable.
“When I remember the concerts I used to attend as a child and teenager, the female composers were very few and most commonly completely absent. When I was a young piano student I never studied or played a musical piece written by a female composer, unfortunately. This happened just because my teachers never introduced me to any of them. I had very few female models to look up to growing up in a male-dominant musical environment. It was rare to see a female performer, conductor or composer taking part in concerts,” Lopes said.
She goes on to explain the positive effect LunART’s concerts can have on not only women but women with different cultural backgrounds.
“I believe that the value of a beautiful concert like this is unmeasurable,” Lopes explained. “One of the outcomes, among many others, is the empowerment of the feminine community mostly because this concert is created, performed and promoted by women. LunART also embraces women composers that come from different cultural backgrounds other than the western culture that is dominant in main media and concerts world wide, leaving little space for the art that comes from other cultures. I believe that promoting cultural diversity is essential to a peaceful, kind and loving community in our complex and ever changing world.”
LunART’s newest intern, Emma Bijelic, is getting ready for this amazing opportunity. She is excited for not only the music that will be performed but the values that LunART presents.
“As an intern who’s beginning my first academic year with LunART, I’m extremely proud of the events we get to create and hold for the Madison community,” Bijelic explained. “This is the first time I’ve come across an organization that truly celebrates female composers authentically.”
The concert will be taking place on September 30th at the Arts and Literature Laboratory. The doors will open at 7PM and the concert will begin at 7:30PM. There will be a Q&A following the performance. For more information, look at the link here. Get your tickets NOW!
Article by Ava Wojnowski
Ava Wojnowski is an intern with LunART. She is majoring in journalism and Spanish and is excited to bring her passion for writing to LunART. Outside of school, Wojnowski loves to spend time outside and also loves to listen to music. She played the viola from 4th to 12th grade, so music has always been a part of her life.