SMB presents concert featuring all women composers
During the next week, we will share information about each composer featured on our March concerts, along with the pieces being performed.
Our first composer is Maddalena Laura Lombardini Sirmen. (9 Dec 1745-18 May 1818)
Maddalena Lombardini Sirmen was the only musician to emerge from her family and she became famous entirely through her own efforts. She was born in Venice and in 1753 was admitted to the Ospedale dei Mendicanti, a school for orphans. Though she was not an orphan, her impoverished parents could no longer care for her and the school sought her musical talent. She was an outstanding violinist and in 1760 was allowed to go to Padua to study with Tartini, the most important violinist of the time. In 1766, after 13 years at the Ospedale, she wanted to leave. Tartini tried unsuccessfully to find her a husband; in the next year she married the violinist and composer Lodovico Sirmen. In 1768 the couple started a highly successful European tour, playing in Turin and Paris, where six of her string quartets were published in 1769. Two of these works will be performed on our concert. In January 1771, Lodovico was settled in Ravenna with their daughter and Maddalena was in London, advertised as ‘the celebrated Mrs Lombardini Sirmen’. She had two very successful seasons there as a violinist, playing in various concert series and at the theatres, then a third season as a singer. Following her time in London she played or sang in various Italian cities, in Paris, Dresden and as a principal singer at St Petersburg (1783). After 1785 she settled in Venice and Ravenna, where she spent the rest of her life. Sirmen's music was well-known and widely published in Paris, the Netherlands, Germany and London during her lifetime. One of her violin concertos was performed in Sweden in 1774, and Leopold Mozart wrote of ‘a beautifully written concerto by Sirmen’ in a letter to his wife and son Wolfgang.
Shelter Music Boston will be performing movements from two of her celebrated string quartets. Click the links below to hear a sample of this beautiful music!
String Quartet No.2 in B flat Major: ii. Allegro
String Quartet No. 4 in B-Flat Major: I. Cantabile