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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 18, 1997)
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recognizes women composers
By Liza Holtmeier
Lily Boulanger may not have the
worldwide fame of a composer like
Franz Schubert, but according to vio
linist Laura Kobayashi, she deserves it.
“There is more to the music world
than Brahms, Beethoven and
Schubert, or even Stravinsky,”
To give recognition to women
composers like Boulanger, Kobayashi
performs a repertoire of 19th and 20th
century women composers with
pianist Susan Keith Gray.
The two will present their concert
to Lincoln audiences tonight at 8 in
Kimball Recital Hall. Admission is
The performance will include
works by Ruth Crawford Seeger;
Boulanger, the younger sister of the
famous Parisian pedagogy teacher
•Nadia Boulanger; Amy Beach, a well
known late 19th century composer;
and Germaine Tailleferre. Tailleferre
was the sixth member of a group of
French composers who rejected the
French impressionism of Debussy. She
was the only woman in the group.
“A lot of these women were com
parative in talent and ability to their
male counterparts,” Kobayashi said.
“For years, they’ve been pushed and
brushed aside. I think it’s important to
expose audiences to the worthwhile
music of these composers. We’d like to
give them the recognition they
Kobayashi said the decision to
base the duo’s repertoire around
women composers was actually an
“A colleague of Susan mentioned
the idea of living women composers
for a competition we were doing,”
Kobayashi said. “We decided to inves
tigate; I found so much information I
decided to do my doctoral dissertation
on women composers.”
In her studies, Kobayashi said she
noticed the influence of male com
posers was well documented, but the
influence of women composers was
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the question, “Who really came first?”
Kobayashi pointed out that the
duo’s repertoire was not meant to be a
feminist stand. She said she and Gray
merely wanted to introduce audiences
to worthwhile music.
Kobayashi began studying music
at the age of 4. Since 1995, she has
been on the faculty at the University of
Nebraska at Omaha where she teaches
violin and Viola, chamber music and
Gray has been on the faculty at the
University of South Dakota where she
teaches solo piano, class piano, peda
gogy and collaborative piano.
The two met when Kobayashi was
beginning her doctorate at the
University of Michigan, where Gray
was finishing her doctoral program.
The two collaborated for an American
contemporary music competition.
“We have this sort of intuitive
sense of how we should play,”
Kobayashi said. “We play off each
other. We don’t even have to discuss
Photo courtesy of Laura Kobayashi
PIANIST SUSAN KEITH GRAY and violinist Laura Kobayashi will perform their
repertoire of 19th and 20th century women composers tonight.
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