Happy Birthday, Rebecca Clarke! And honoring the late Robert Sherman

We are celebrating Rebecca Clarke on today August 27, 2023, the 137th anniversary of her birth.  We would also like to honor the amazing radio journalist Robert Sherman, who passed away on June 27, 2023. With his two broadcast interviews with her in 1976, Robert Sherman launched the re-discovery of Rebecca Clarke as a composer.  We are making the unedited version of the interview available on Youtube. Recorded before June 26, 1976, edited portions of the interview were then broadcast on her 90th birthday, August 27, 1976, as part of Sherman’s long-running program, The Listening Room.  This program is available on the WQXR Website, https://www.wqxr.org/series/the-listening-room/31/  and includes a performance of the Viola Sonata (with Toby Appel, viola, and Emmanual Ax, piano), the Piano Trio, performed by the American Piano Trio) and several songs, with baritone David Baron.

This unedited interview was transcribed and published in A Rebecca Clarke Reader, 2004, pp. 170-181, and can be freely read on Google Books, Mr. Sherman was always extremely gracious in sharing his valuable work and happy for it to be made widely available, with the one condition being that his role was acknowledged.  We are happy to acknowledge him and honor him for preserving Clarke’s memorable voice and so many vivid recollections. Mr. Sherman passed away on June 27, 2023, at the age of 90.  Here is the New York Times obituary of Robert Sherman, music journalist and broadcaster on WQXR radio for more than five decades.

Atlanta Symphony features Clarke in Feb. 23 Pre-Concert

The Atlanta Symphony will feature Clarke in performance of music by women.  Members of the Merian Ensemble will perform Clarke’s “Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale” for Viola and Clarinet on Feb. 23, at 6:45, as part of their pre-concert event.  Ticket-holders for the ASO’s Feb. 23 and 24 concerts are invited.  Dr. Liane Curtis’ article from The Strad magazine on the Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale is here (PDF) (reprinted with permission).

The Merian Ensemble

Happy Birthday, Rebecca Clarke!

Dear Friends! Today is Rebecca Clarke’s birthday! She was born in 1886, in Harrow, U.K. Here’s a thrilling performance of her best known work, the 1919 Sonata for Viola, as orchestrated by Ruth Lomon. https://youtu.be/Fb_7GwLGfes (I. “Impetuoso” )
And here is another great work, very different and lesser-known, the Prelude, Allegro, and Pastorale for Clarinet and Viola. She composed it in 1941 but it was not published until 2000. https://youtu.be/T6TUABU51JA
AND we — The Rebecca Clarke Society, Inc. , www.rebeccaclarke.org — are always looking for volunteers to help us with updating social media and our website. Unpaid, but opportunity for bonus. info@rebeccaclarke.org

Nancy B. Reich: “Rebecca Clarke: An Uncommon Woman”

The influential musicologist and supportive friend Dr. Nancy B Reich passed away earlier this year. She received this illuminating obituary in the New York Times, and her daughter Susanna Reich suggested that donations in her mother’s honor could be made to Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy.  Today, on the 133rd anniversary of Rebecca Clarke’s birth, we are celebrating both Clarke and Dr. Reich by reprinting (in PDF form) the article “Rebecca Clarke: An Uncommon Woman,” which was originally published in 1993, and which was reprinted in A Rebecca Clarke Reader in 2004.

This is the brief introduction to the section that includes Dr. Reich’s chapter.  And here  is Rebecca Clarke: An Uncommon Woman by Nancy B. Reich.

Learn more about A Rebecca Clarke Reader here.


Article Celebrates the Centennial of the Viola Sonata

A new article by violist David Bynog details the exciting events of 100 years ago!

One hundred years ago, during the weekend of August 23–24, 1919, six men gathered …in Pittsfield, Massachusetts… to select the winner of the Second Berkshire Festival Competition, devoted to compositions for viola and piano. The outcome from their deliberations was so momentous that it still resonates a century later.

“The Year of Rebecca Clarke!”

Many concerts and projects are celebrating 2019 as “The Year of Rebecca Clarke” — the 100th anniversary of her remarkable Viola Sonata!  We hope you will join us in supporting this all-Clarke CD project in Poland —




Clarke Sonata at 100 Celebration at Library of Congress

#Declassified This Weekend: Rebecca Clarke and her Viola Sonata at 100

Saturday, March 2, 2019 — 11:00 am – 12:00 pm EST  The event is free, but tickets are required, more info here

Rebecca Clarke’s Sonata for Viola and Piano was composed 100 years ago and was premiered at Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge’s Chamber Music Festival in September 1919. The Library of Congress (which holds Clarke’s manuscript score of the work) celebrates the centenary with a presentation by Cait Miller, (LC Music Division), and a performance of the work by Katherine Murdock, viola and Audrey Andrist, piano.


Welcome to our Blog!

Dear Readers and supporters!

In olden times, we were pretty good about getting out our newsletter regularly. Now things seem to happen so fast that we are focused on what’s going on right now, rather collecting articles in a  newsletter. And, yes, we do social media (Facebook).  So in particular for those of you who don’t turn to Facebook, we are starting this blog as a place to highlight current events and concerts including Rebecca Clarke’s music or other relevant content.

Please do write us with news items, or ideas for stories – and of course we always welcome guest bloggers!

And now!  Our first announcement: We received news of a wonderful concert that will take place in Paris, France, on Oct. 18.  The mezzo-soprano Lucie Louvrier writes us with her plans of a recital featuring songs by Clarke, Alma Mahler, and Lili Boulanger.

Performing with pianist Anna Guyénot, the recital will take place at the American Cathedral in (23 avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France), at 4 pm, and is free of charge.  Louvrier discovered Clarke’s music when completing her MMus in Vocal Performance at Birmingham Conservatoire, and she is happy now to share these English songs with French audiences.  

Lucie explains:

In building this programme we wanted to perform music by several European women composers of the same era, to put each of them in perspective and show three different female artists’ fates of that time, whose musical languages are truly unique yet bare some similarities. … We would be very happy for our recital to contribute to Rebecca Clarke’s music being more widely known, especially in France where the English song repertoire in general is so rarely performed.