A festival to bring women’s stories to life through music

MPhoto: Darren James

3MBS and the City of Boroondara proudly present Music, she wrote – a three-night music festival bringing women’s stories to life.

Across three nights, three beautifully performed concerts will explore a different facet of how Australian women’s voices enrich our musical landscape.

Featuring Melbourne’s finest classical, jazz, and baroque musicians.

Monday 24 May – Wednesday 26 May, 8pm
Kew Courthouse

Speak – Monday 24 May, 8pm

The evening begins with a single voice speaking in stillness. Soon, she is joined by the collective forces of new music ensemble Syzygy with guest violinist Sophia Kirsanova, known for their virtuosity, precision, and visceral connection with audiences. In a program featuring works from Australia, Latvia and the US, they explore a vast range of experiences, from reflection on loss and its legacy to our relationship with chance, fate, and nature.

Then, jazz singer Michelle Nicolle and her quartet take to the stage for a set of breathtaking originals that will surprise and delight. Combining innovation and tradition, these internationally acclaimed musicians tell their stories in their own words.

These two groups tell tales of our time and exhort us: stop, listen. Only then can we move forward.

Strength – Tuesday 25 May, 8pm

During the first half of the night, powerhouse violinist Kyla Matsuura-Miller and award-winning pianist Adam McMillan form the collaborative group, Duo Piaggio. The group finds their strength in the friendship and musical partnership they’ve forged over the years, presenting music from Clara Schumann to Melbourne-based Caerwen Martin.

Then, we hear the rare and wondrous sound of the solo double bass, played by Melbourne’s beloved Emma Sullivan. From Barbara Strozzi to Kate Moore, she explores what she considers to be four true aspects of strength: the strength to love openly and freely, the strength to be one’s authentic self, the strength to cope with loss, and finally, gratitude. 

Warmth – Wednesday 26 May, 8pm

Closing night features festival director Katie Yap’s Wattleseed Ensemble, with soprano Astrid Connelly. This program responds to a universal need that has been keenly felt over the course of the last tumultuous year: a need for comfort, for understanding, and for connection. Combining historically informed baroque and medieval music, folk music, and contemporary chamber music, it explores the voices of women over the span of a millennium, from Hildegard von Bingen to Sydney-based Alice Chance. The intimacy of Wattleseed Ensemble’s gut strings and Astrid Connelly’s magnetic voice will draw you in for an evening to soothe the soul and ignite the senses.