Whether you are a mother, have a mother or any combination thereof, pack a picnic basket filled with your favorites and treat yourself to an innovative, tuneful concert on Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 9, at 7 p.m.

The Rhythm Method

The Rhythm Method, a string ensemble comprised of four young female performer/composers, brings the music of historical female composers into the public eye. Through research, performance, and recording, they unearth and perform under-heard musical gems composed by women. While many of the composers featured on this program achieved an impressive degree of public recognition in their lifetime, their music has often been belittled or ignored by music historians, music programmers, and musicians. This suppression of yesterday’s female voices has a direct impact on our idea of who gets to be a composer today, and contributes to the dearth of female composers, living or deceased, represented in classical and contemporary repertory.

The Rhythm Method hopes that by giving these female composers their due, they can empower young female artists, as well as non-binary artists, artists of color, and artists from other marginalized groups, to continue to create and share their work with the world and to stand up to the biases still entrenched in many of our cultural institutions. The ensemble consists of Leah Asher, violin, Marina Kifferstein, violin, Carrie Frey, viola and Meaghan Burke, cello. New Music Box called them, “fierce, fearless and virtuosic.”

The program for Sunday, May 9th consists of Elizabeth Maconchy’s String Quartet no. 3 (1938). Born in Ireland, Maconchy moved to London to study at the Royal College of Music with, among others, Ralph Vaughn Williams. Prolific and highly respected in her time, she once said, “For me, the best music is an impassioned argument.”

Florence Price’s String Quartet in G (1929), is also on the bill. After years of neglect, Price’s work is finally getting its due. The first African-American composer to have her work played by a major orchestra, Price’s road to recognition was rugged. At one point she pretended to be Mexican to avoid discrimination. Though classically trained in the European tradition, Price’s work is uniquely original and American, steeped in her Southern roots.

The rest of the program includes two more pieces, Leah Asher’s Shoulder to Shoulder (2018). A member of The Rhythm Method, she has performed extensively throughout the US and Europe. You can sample her work here:

YouTube video

Rounding out the program is Amanda Maier-Rontgen’s String Quartet in A Major (1880). Maier-Rontgen was a Swedish violinist and composer whose remarkable body of work was cut short by her death from tuberculosis at age 41.

All blocks are $50 each and can safely accommodate two patrons. You must bring your own lawn chairs.

Call for tickets to Hidden Mothers at 973-971-2703. Or visit https://morrismuseum.org/events/rhythm-method-hidden-mothers/

The Morris Museum’s Bickford Theatre is located at 6 Normandy Heights Road in Morristown, NJ, and offers free parking and full accessibility. Box office hours for phone sales are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Morris Museum is a Blue Star Museum, offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.