7 Sisters, The Untold Story of British Women Composers, with Diana Ambache & Jason Osborn

An evening of film, music and discussion, celebrating more than 200 years of chamber music by British Women Composers.


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Diana Ambache’s CD, Seven Sisters, recorded in 2014, focuses on chamber music composed by British women. Starting with Sofia Dussek's 1793 exuberant Sonata for piano and violin, then two pieces from the 19th century by Rosalind Ellicott and Ethel Smyth, three 20th century pieces by Madeline Dring, Cecilia McDowall and Sally Beamish, and finally Jocelyn Pook's atmospheric and uniquely expressive 2007 piece Wonderland.

Their music is played and conducted on the CD by Diana Ambache with an outstanding group of internationally celebrated musicians, and the film, shot by Jason Osborn during the recording of the CD, is interspersed with interviews, photos and footage that bring these remarkable composers vividly to life.

Women have always been deeply involved in British musical life, but how many women composers have there been in Britain? How many can we name? What has happened over the centuries to their compositions? Is it all different now? How have they fared across the range, from chamber music to film music, via opera and concerti?

Diana and Jason will look in depth at 3 or 4 of the 7 Sisters, talk about all of them, and examine their music & its reception in the context of their times, from the 18th Century to the present day. She & Jason will discuss the recording of the CD and the making of the film, with extracts from both.


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Diana Ambache has specialised in the music of women composers for many years. She has recorded 8 CDs of music by women, and in 2002 she was shortlisted for the European Women of Achievement Awards for this work.

She founded the Ambache Chamber Ensemble specifically to focus on the interpretation of music composed by women as well as to accompany her in Mozart piano concertos. The group frequently played at South Bank concerts and at St. John's Smith Square in London and was often broadcast on the BBC. They recorded extensively and appeared on the Meridian, Naxos, Virgin Classics, Chandos, and Signum Classics labels


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Jason Osborn's recent documentary films include Songs of Georgia and La Donna dell'Olio d'Oliva, both of which he has shown and introduced before at The Ebenezer, to great popular acclamation! He is a film-maker, musician & composer whose work for film and TV – including over 200 documentaries – is seen world-wide.




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2015Martin Keeley