Song at Wolfson: Marta Fontanals-Simmons, Sholto Kynoch & Leah Broad

16 March 2023, 6:00pm - 7:15pm

We're thrilled to celebrate the launch of a new book by Leah BroadQuartet: How Four Women Changed the Musical World. Already well known to Oxford Lieder audiences, Leah is an acclaimed writer, music historian, broadcaster and BBC New Generation Thinker.


Quartet has been described by Antonia Fraser as 'riveting' and by Andrew Motion as 'pioneering'. It explores the lives, loves, adventures and trailblazing careers of four extraordinary women composers. Ethel Smyth, Rebecca Clarke, Doreen Carwithen and Dorothy Howell were all celebrities in their time. They composed some of the century’s most popular music and pioneered creative careers; but today, they are ghostly presences, surviving only as muses and footnotes to male contemporaries like Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Britten – until now. This magnificent group biography resurrects these forgotten voices, recounting lives of rebellion, heartbreak and ambition, celebrating their musical masterpieces, and lighting up a panoramic sweep of British history over two World Wars.


Leah will introduce the four composers alongside a selection of their finest songs, performed by the mezzo-soprano Marta Fontanals-Simmons. Praised for her “warm mezzo” and “velvet-voice” (The Telegraph), Marta has recently made critically acclaimed house and role debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Siébel in David McVicar's production of Faust and creating the role of Hel in the world premiere of Gavin Higgins’ The Monstrous Child. In recent years, she has given several sensational performances at the Lieder Festival.



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17 November 2022 | 6:00pm

Song at Wolfson 2022/23

Previous Event
Song at Wolfson: Neil Balfour & Sholto Kynoch
12 January 2023, 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Next Event
Song at Wolfson: Nazan Fikret & Sholto Kynoch - On this Island
11 May 2023, 6:00pm - 7:00pm

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