TRMS Past Concerts (2020)

Jayne Walker Piano Trio

Lunchtime Concert


Female composer who proved that music has no gender - Clara Schumann

A piece of music that has come to symbolise women’s struggle for gender equality was performed at a lunchtime concert in Rickmansworth on Wednesday, January 29. Clara Schumann, wife of the composer Robert Schumann, wrote her brilliant Piano Trio in G minor opus 17 in the 1840s - a time when women were expected to play, but not compose, music.

Clara, who was an outstanding concert pianist, also wrote choral music, solo piano pieces, a concerto and many songs but her work was never as highly regarded as her male contemporaries’ compositions.

Today we like to think that such prejudices no longer exist. But as recently as 2015 the A-level music syllabus offered by Edexcel, Britain’s biggest exam board, featured 63 male composers and not a single woman.

It took a petition organised by a 17-year-old London music student, Jessy McCabe, to help correct that balance – and now Clara Schumann’s piano trio is one of five works by female composers that Edexcel candidates study.

The Three Rivers Music Society concert featuring Clara’s best-known composition was given by a trio led by violinist Jayne Walker. She was accompanied by cellist Steven Halls and Chorleywood-based pianist Rosemary Venner.

The one-hour concert, which also included two trios by Joseph Haydn and Paul Juon, was performed at the Baptist Church, High Street, Rickmansworth WD3 1EH to an enthusastic and loyal audience of over 70 people.


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