Learning to Listen

About the Series

The Coleman Sisters Learning to Listen Series was established in memory of Elizabeth Coleman Mooney ’48 and in honor of Susan Norton Coleman ’45, who wanted future generations of students to derive the same great pleasure from music that they did. The Series features virtuosic musicians in a salon-like atmosphere with informative conversation.

Learning to Listen 2023-24

Fragments from a Life: Reflections on Poetry, War and Immigration by Women Composers

Saturday, February 10, 2024 | 7pm | Goodhart Music Room

Pianist Katelyn Bouska sits beside a piano

Pianist Katelyn Bouska is an academic and an advocate, passionate about uncovering music lost to the passage of time. In her programming, she explores the boundaries between audience and performer, the past and the present. She brings to life these composers drawing from her deep research, cultural explorations and innovative programming.

In the looming face of the second world war, 10-year-old Ruth Schönthal and her Jewish family fled Germany.  They would spend the next decade seeking safety in Sweden, the USSR, Japan, and Mexico before finally settling in New York.  At the end of her remarkable life, Schönthal distilled these experiences into nineteen crystalline miniatures, “Fragments from a Woman’s Diary.” 

Some celebrate profound simplicity, the playfulness of childhood or the first blush of love and marriage. Others delve into deeper tragedies exploring the dark places of despair and anger. 

In this program, woven between these musical fragments, are other deeply personal works by Czech, Ukrainian, Polish and American women composers: Vítězslava Kaprálová attempting to escape the gestapo invasion in Paris, Ivana Loudová capturing the bright images of her native Prague behind the Iron Curtain or virtuoso Marie Szymanowska recording her native Polish dances during Russian occupation. 

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Learning to Listen 2022-23

Learning to Listen 2020-21

Learning to Listen 2019-20

Learning to Listen 2018-19

  • Vera Quartet
  • The Bearded Ladies Cabaret's John Jarboe and Revolution Winds
  • Learning to Listen Bus Trip to Philadelphia Orchestra's performance of Beethoven's Eroica

Learning to Listen 2017-18

Learning to Listen 2016-17

  • The Jasper String Quartet in Shostakovich's 110th Birthday Celebration
  • What Makes Music Expressive with John Andrew Bailey
  • The Brass Project from the Curtis Institute of Music

Learning to Listen 2015-16

  • Erik Satie's 150th birthday celebration with Viktor Valkov (piano) and Luosha Fang (violin)
  • A Very Open Rehearsal of Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 18 No. 6 in Bb Major with musicians from the Curtis Institute of Music
  • Exploring the Sonority of Strings with Christine Lamprea (cello) and Jordan Dodson (guitar)

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