Women Composers Across the Ages

Women Composers Across the Ages

Gearan Center for the Performing Arts

$25.00 per ticket


This concert features female composers spanning nearly 10 centuries. Hildegard von Bingen is the earliest known female composer. Born in the 11th century, von Bingen was an Abbess, philosopher and visionary. She is recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. An arrangement completed for the Kronos quartet will transport the listener into the landscape of early liturgical music. Jumping forward, the audience will experience the youthful exuberance of Fanny Mendelsohn, Felix’s little sister. While her compositional output and skill was neglected due to her gender, we are lucky to still have access to a masterful string quartet written during her teenage years. The concert also will feature the third part of Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio (the first two parts of this work were performed at GMF in our 2016 season). To conclude this exciting program, GMF artists will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s virtuostic and rarely heard Sextet in D Major with Bass and Piano.

Artists in this concert include:

Geoff Herd and Eliot Heaton, violins
Hillary Herndon, viola
Max Geissler, Hannah Collins, cello
Justin McCulloch, bass
Esther Park, piano

Program subject to change.


Gearan Center for the Performing Arts

About the Artists

Eliot Heaton

Violinist Eliot Heaton is the Concertmaster of the Michigan Opera Theatre, Des Moines Metro Opera, and the Saginaw Bay Symphony. He previously served as Concertmaster of the Terre Haute Symphony and Oberlin Symphony orchestras, and has been guest Concertmaster with the Lansing Symphony, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic. He also plays as an extra musician in both the Detroit and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestras. Eliot has appeared as soloist with a number of… Read more

Esther Park

Pianist Esther Park has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals across the United States as well as Asia and major European cities. Ms. Park has appeared as soloist with many orchestras such as Houston Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, Corpus Christi Symphony, Filharmonia Pomorska (Poland), Orchestra Filarmonica (Romania), Shanghai Philharmonic,  Shreveport Symphony, the Juilliard Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony. Ms. Park is the winner of the 2013 Jose Roca International Piano Competition and… Read more

Geoffrey Herd

Violinist Geoffrey Herd leads a varied and impactful career as a soloist and chamber musician, innovative artistic director and dedicated pedagogue. He has performed throughout the United States, Latin America, and Asia at venues such as the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Art in Boston and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as well as at universities and conservatories globally. An avid chamber musician, Dr. Herd has collaborated with leading musicians including Ettore Causa, Jinjoo Cho,… Read more

Hannah Collins

Cellist Hannah Collins is a dynamic performer who uses diverse forms of musical expression and artistic collaboration to build connections and community. Winner of the Presser Music Award and De Linkprijs for contemporary interpretation, she takes an active role in expanding the repertoire for the cello by commissioning and premiering solo works and by co-creating interdisciplinary projects—most recently working with visual artist Antonia Contro and violinist Clara Lyon on Correspondence, a multimedia installation exhibited at… Read more

Hillary Herndon

Violist Hillary Herndon has earned a national reputation for her brilliant playing, “sweetly soaring tone” (Time Out New York), creative programing and insightful teaching. She has been heard on NPR and PBS and has collaborated with some of the world’s foremost artists, including Carol Wincenc, James VanDermark and Itzhak Perlman, who described Hillary as “having it all… a gifted teacher and an excellent musician.” Ms. Herndon is dedicated to expanding the repertoire for viola through… Read more

Max Geissler

Praised for his “superb artistry and beautiful sound,” cellist Max Geissler is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Rice University under the tutelage of Desmond Hoebig. Max serves as the cellist and Co-Artistic Director of the mixed instrumentation new music ensemble Latitude 49, and is a highly sought-after chamber collaborator and educator. Before his studies at Rice, he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan working with Richard Aaron. As an enthusiastic educator, Max… Read more