Skip to main content Skip to footer

Music at Clare Hall: violinist Eleanor Ryan to give concert exploring work of female composers past and present

19 December 2022 Students

Something to look forward to in the new year: a Clare Hall concert will explore music for violin and piano by female composers past and present. On 22 January 2023, Eleanor Ryan (Violin, PhD student at Clare Hall) and Jeremy Thurlow (Piano, Fellow and Associate Professor in Music at Robinson College) will present a rich tapestry of music written for violin and piano by female composers spanning the baroque era to the present day.

Ahead of the concert, the pair share:

‘The programme intentionally seeks to weave short works in conversation with each other across styles, temporalities and locations, inspired by one of the offerings, Tōrua by New Zealand/Aotearoa composer Dame Gillian Whitehead. Tōrua, from te reo Maōri, has multiple meanings: it signifies a change in wind or current, it is the name given to a weaving pattern, and its third meaning is ‘twofold’ or ‘double thickness’, reflecting both the two-fold of duo voices and the enrichment of voices and knowledge in conversation. In weaving together multiple compositional female voices from past and present, this concert highlights the often-overlooked depth and flow of women’s creative voices in art music over time.

In this concert, Baroque era composers Isabella Leonarda and Élisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre are interwoven with the Romantic-era offerings of Louise Ferrenc and Clara Schumann. Lili Boulanger and Amy Beach, writing in the first decades of the twentieth century, are in conversation across the Atlantic, and present-day composers – the USA-based British composers Anna Clyne and Angela Morley, in conversation with New Zealand/Aotearoa composer Dame Gillian Whitehead, speak to the diversity, invention and entrepreneurship of modern-day female voices.’



£20 General Admission, £15 Clare Hall members, £5 students and children – available now via Eventbrite:

About the musicians

Eleanor Ryan

New Zealand-born Eleanor Ryan is a violinist, educator and academic researcher. Her research interests span intercultural and transdisciplinary performance, anticolonial, antiracist, feminist and posthuman theories and their application within performance arts education. As a violinist she has performed extensively with professional UK orchestras and ensembles, including the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Hallé Orchestras, and in the Caribbean as Principal violin of the Ibis Ensemble, based in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Eleanor has collaborated in performance and composition with British-Trinidadian poet-musician Anthony Joseph, Saxophonist Jason Yarde, Trinidad All Stars Steel Orchestra, and experimental film collective NEUF, and transdisciplinary dancer-scholar Beatrice Allegranti. Eleanor is the music director with British theatre company Oyster Creatives.  

Eleanor holds a MMus with distinction in performance from the Royal Northern College of Music (2004) and an MPhil with distinction in Arts, Creativity and Education from the University of Cambridge (2020). She was Assistant Professor of Violin at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, 2009-2018. She is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Cambridge, focusing on decolonising performance pedagogies in Higher Education. Eleanor is a steering group member of the Arts, Creativities and Education (ACRG) research group at the University of Cambridge and a working group member of the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Music Studies (EDIMS) network.

Jeremy Thurlow

Jeremy Thurlow is a composer, musicologist and pianist, and is Fellow and Associate Professor in Music at Robinson College.  His music has been performed by the BBC Philharmonic, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, Schubert Ensemble, Aronowitz Ensemble, BBC Singers, Endymion and Peter Sheppard Skaerved among many others, and was awarded the George Butterworth Prize.  Last month his concerto for natural horn was toured in Sweden by Alec Frank Gemmill and the Norrbotten Kammarorkest.  His writings include a monograph on Henri Dutilleux and a study of Messiaen’s Catalogue d’Oiseaux. As a pianist he especially enjoys chamber music, and at Clare Hall he has performed Winterreise with mezzo-soprano Lucy Taylor, as well as a programme of French song.  

Find further concert details on this page.