Past Event

American Women Play American Women

March 30, 2023
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Event time is displayed in your time zone.
Teatro of the Italian Academy, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue

"an extraordinary quartet" – New York Times

The pianist Magdalena Baczewska brings the renowned Cassatt String Quartet to the Italian Academy to perform music by three American women — Amy Beach, Dorothy Rudd Moore, and Florence Price. The concert is free, and advance reservations are recommended.

In 2019, Ms. Baczewska and the Cassatts performed at the Italian Academy to a full house, who "were clearly moved by the music and offered standing ovations," wrote Rick Whitaker, Italian Academy concert manager in Columbia News. "It was a concert I always describe as one of the best we've ever presented," he said.

All three composers on the program were pioneers and groundbreaking musicians. Price was the first Black woman to have her music performed by a major orchestra. Moore, who lived in New York City until her death last year, was co-founder of Symphony of the New World, the first racially-integrated orchestra in the United States. Beach is known for being the first woman to have a symphony performed by a major orchestra in 1896.

On the program, the CSQ performs Moore's "Modes" and Prices' String Quartet No. 1, and is joined by Baczewska for Beach's Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor. Baczewska also performs a solo piano work by Price.


Muneko Otani and Jennifer Leshnower, violins

Rosemary Nelis, viola

Gwen Krosnick, cello

Florence Price (1887–1953) 
String Quartet No.1 in G major (1929)
Fantaisie nègre, No. 1, for piano solo (1932)

Dorothy Rudd Moore (1940–2022)
Modes for String Quartet (1968)            

Amy Beach (1867–1944)
Piano Quintet in F-sharp minor Op 67 (1907)          

The Cassatt String Quartet was the first quartet chosen for Juilliard’s Young Artists Quartet Program. Since then, they have performed at New York’s Alice Tully Hall, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Tanglewood Music Theater, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Theatre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and the Beijing Central Conservatory in China. At the Library of Congress, the Cassatt performed on the library’s matched quartet of Stradivarius instruments, and they performed the three complete Beethoven Quartet cycles at the University at Buffalo.

The Cassatt has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, Boston’s WGBH, and New York’s WQXR and WNYC. They have 30 recordings, and were named three times to Alex Ross’ 10 best classical recordings of the year in The New Yorker magazine.

They performed piano quintets by Schumann and Brahms at the Italian Academy with Magdalena Baczewska in November 2019. Read about and watch video of that performance here.

The quartet is named for the celebrated American impressionist painter Mary Cassatt.

Hailed by the press as “One of the most innovative, even radical classical keyboardists in the U.S.” and described as “Columbia University professor by day, musical sorceress by night,” pianist and harpsichordist Magdalena Baczewska enjoys a multifaceted career as a concert artist, educator, and speaker. Having made her solo debut with the Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra at age 12 in her native Poland, Baczewska performs internationally with the world’s leading orchestras: Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, China National Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, among others. She has been praised for her "magnificent, unique voice that stylistically never falters" (Classical Music Guide), “world-class playing” by the American Record Guide, and hailed as “eloquent and technically flawless” by The Washington Post. 

Professor Baczewska is Director of the Music Performance Program at Columbia University. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage for promoting Polish culture abroad.