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Sarah Cahill's The Future is Female, "In Nature," - First of Three Volumes Out on First Hand Records

Pianist Sarah Cahill Announces New Album

The Future is Female, Vol. 1, In Nature

First of a Three-Volume Series Featuring 30 Solo Piano Works by Women Composers Around the Globe

Available March 4, 2022 on First Hand Records

Marathon Performance presented by the Barbican Centre on March 5, 2022 from 12pm – 8pm

Pianist Sarah Cahill, described as “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by The New York Times, announces The Future is Female, Vol. 1, In Nature, her newest recording to be released March 4, 2022 on First Hand Records. The Future is Female is a three-volume series, which celebrates and highlights women composers from the 17th century to the present day. These albums encompass 30 compositions by women from around the globe and include many new commissioned works and world premiere recordings.

Coinciding with the album release, Cahill will give a performance of The Future is Female on March 5, 2022, presented by the Barbican Centre at the Barbican Conservatory. This marathon concert begins at noon and runs until approximately 8pm with free admission. Tickets and information are available at The album release and performance are presented in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2022.

The Future is Female, Vol. 1, In Nature features works by Anna Bon, Fanny Mendelssohn, Teresa Carreño, Leokadiya Kashperova, Fannie Charles Dillon, Vítezslava Kaprálová, Agi Jambor, Eve Beglarian, Deirdre Gribbin, and Mary D. Watkins. This first album, loosely based on the theme of nature, will be followed later in 2022 by Vol. 2, At Play and Vol. 3, The Dance.

Cahill began working on this project, which now encompasses nearly 70 compositions, in 2018. “For decades I had been working with many living American composers, including Pauline Oliveros, Tania León, Eve Beglarian, Mary D. Watkins, Julia Wolfe, Ursula Mamlok, Meredith Monk, Annea Lockwood, and many more, but felt an urgent need to explore neglected composers from the past, and from around the globe,” she explains. “Like most pianists, I grew up with the classical canon, which has always excluded women composers as well as composers of colour. It is still standard practice to perform recitals consisting entirely of music written by men. The Future is Female, then, aims to be a corrective towards rebalancing the repertoire. It does not attempt to be exhaustive, in any way, and the three albums in this series represent only a small fraction of the music by women which is waiting to be performed and heard. At some point I would love to record Kaprálová’s complete April Preludes and Kashperova’s Au sein de la nature, but my main objective in this project is to be inclusive rather than exhaustive.”

Cahill has developed and performed The Future is Female as a flexible concert program, which she has been performing since the project’s inception. It has been presented as an evening-length recital performance and as a marathon performance and is ideal for concert halls, museums, and gallery spaces. The marathon performance duration is typically between four to seven hours, allowing audience members to sit and listen for any length of time, with the ability to come and go, as well as the ability to walk around the space. Recent performances of The Future is Female include concerts presented by Carolina Performing Arts, Carlsbad Music Festival, Detroit Institute of Arts, University of Iowa, Bowling Green New Music Festival, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg (Florida), North Dakota Museum of Art, and Mayville State University.

The Future is Female, Vol. 1, In Nature | Sarah Cahill, piano | First Hand Records | Available March 4, 2022

Recorded at St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere, California, August 15–28, 2021 | Produced and recorded by Matt Carr

Anna Bon (1739/40– after 1767)

Keyboard Sonata in B minor, Op. 2, No. 5 (1757) [3]

1. I. Allegro moderato

2. II. Adagio non molto

3. III. Allegro

Fanny Mendelssohn (1805–1847)

4 Lieder, Op. 8 (1846)

4. I. Lied: Allegro moderato

5. III. Lied: Larghetto

Teresa Carreño (1853–1917)

6. Un rêve en mer (A Dream at Sea) – Etude-méditation (1868)

Leokadiya Kashperova (1872–1940)

Au sein de la nature (In the Midst of Nature):

7. III. Le murmure des blés (The Murmur of the Wheat) (1910) [2]

Fannie Charles Dillon (1881–1947)

8 Descriptive Pieces, Op. 20:

8. No. 2, Birds at Dawn (1917)

Vítězslava Kaprálová (1915–1940)

Dubnová preludia (April Preludes), Op. 13 (1937)

9. No. 1. Allegro ma non troppo

10. No. 3. Andante semplice

Agi Jambor (1909–1997)

Piano Sonata: To the Victims of Auschwitz (1949) [1]

11. I. Allegro appassionato

12. II. Epitaph: Andante teneramente

13. III. Allegro

Eve Beglarian (1958–)

(text: Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1901–1953)

14. Fireside (2001) [2]

Sarah Cahill voice

Deirdre Gribbin (1967–)

15. Unseen (2017) [2]

Mary D. Watkins (1939–)

16. Summer Days (2020) [2]

Première recording [1]

Première commercial recordings [2]

Première recording on piano [3]

About Sarah Cahill: Sarah Cahill, recently called “a brilliant and charismatic advocate for modern and contemporary composers” by Time Out New York, has commissioned and premiered over sixty compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to Cahill include John Adams, Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, Julia Wolfe, Yoko Ono, Annea Lockwood, and Ingram Marshall. She was named a 2018 Champion of New Music, awarded by the American Composers Forum (ACF).

Recent appearances include the Interlochen Arts Festival, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Boston Institute for Contemporary Art, a performance at Alice Tully Hall with the Silk Road Ensemble, Stanford Live, Le Poisson Rouge, and concerts at San Francisco Performances, Sacramento State’s Festival of New American Music, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the United Kingdom, and Toyusu Civic Center Hall in Tokyo.

Cahill’s recent and upcoming streaming speaking engagements have included a two-day discussion presented by the Boulanger Initiative, The Future is Female: In Conversation and Performance (watch online); a Piano Talk presented by the Ross McKee Foundation titled Challenging the Canon (watch online); a panel presented by American Composers Forum on Advocating for Gender Equity; three webinars presented by the San Francisco Symphony, including Five Composers You Should Know (Who Happen to be Women) (November 10); and At Home with Sarah Cahill a workshop presented by Amateur Music Network, where Cahill spoke about her life in new music and performed a short concert (watch online).

Her previous streamed performances during the pandemic have included the Bang on a Can Marathon in June 2020, a concert presented by Harrison House in Joshua Tree as part of Cahill’s residency there (watch online); a Piano Break recital presented by the Ross McKee Foundation, featuring the world premiere of Regina Harris Baiocchi’s Piano Poems, inspired by poetry by Gwendolyn Brooks and Richard Wright (watch online); a faculty performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, featuring the world premiere of Up for two pianos by Riley Nicholson, performed with Regina Myers (watch online); as well as appearances streamed by Musaics of the Bay, Old First Concerts, SFSymphony+, and Community School of Music and Arts.

The first episode of At Home With Sarah Cahill captures an afternoon of musical storytelling filmed at her home in Berkeley. Cahill performs Vítězslava Kaprálová’s Preludes 1 and 3 (1937) and Amy Beach’s Dreaming (1892), and shares the compelling background of the works and the composers. She performs the two works on Terry Riley’s historic Mason & Hamlin piano, which had just arrived a few days before as a gift from Riley. Additional footage of Cahill speaking in her garden about her home and life in Berkeley is available here.

In addition to The Future is Female trilogy on First Hand Records, Sarah Cahill’s discography includes more than twenty albums on the New Albion, CRI, New World, Other Minds, Tzadik, Albany, Cold Blue, Other Minds, and Pinna labels. In September 2017, she released Eighty Trips Around the Sun: Music by and for Terry Riley, a box set tribute to Terry Riley, on Irritable Hedgehog Records. The four-CD set includes solo works by Riley, four-hand works with pianist Regina Myers, and world premiere recordings of commissioned works composed in honor of Riley’s 80th birthday. The Cleveland Museum of Art released her recording of Lou Harrison’s Concerto for Piano with Javanese Gamelan, recorded with Gamelan Galak Tika, in 2021. BBC Music Magazine praised, “Cahill’s touch is perfectly in keeping with the style of the Javanese instrument.”

Cahill’s radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 6 to 8 pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory. For more information, visit

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