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Mar. 8: The National Gallery of Art PresentsPianist Sarah Cahill in The Future is Female

The National Gallery of Art Presents Pianist Sarah Cahill in The Future is Female

Four Hours of Music Marking International Women’s Day & Women’s History Month

Free & Open to the Public

Photo of Sarah Cahill by Kristen Wrzesniewski available in high-resolution at

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 12:00-2:00pm & 2:45-4:45pm West Building, Main Floor - West Garden Court at The National Gallery of Art 6th St and Constitution Ave NW | Washington DC


“The pleasure of [The Future is Female] is the variety of styles on offer.” – The Guardian

The Future is Female, Vol. 3 “At Play” (First Hand Records) Release Date: Apri 28, 2023

Stream the Album (press only, not for publication): Downloads and CDs available upon request.

Sarah Cahill:

Washington DC – On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, the National Gallery of Art presents pianist Sarah Cahill, described as “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by The New York Times, in two, 2-hour performances of her project The Future is Female from 12:00-2:00pm and 2:45-4:45pm in the National Gallery’s West Building (6th St and Constitution Ave NW), marking International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. The Future is Female, which Cahill started working on in 2018, is an investigation and reframing of the piano literature featuring more than seventy compositions by women around the globe, from the Baroque to the present day. At the National Gallery of Art, the Bay Area-based pianist will perform music from the project spanning from the 1600s to 2022 by composers including Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre, Regina Harris Baiocchi, Margaret Bonds, Teresa Carreño, Fanny Mendelssohn, Hélène de Montgeroult, Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou, Clara Schumann, Arlene Sierra, Mary D Watkins, Theresa Wong, and many more. A complete list of the program is available below.
Cahill explains, “Like most pianists, I grew up with the classical canon, which has always excluded women composers as well as composers of color. 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 Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre’s complete Suite in D minor and Madeleine Dring’s complete Colour Suite, but my main objective in this project is to be inclusive rather than exhaustive.”
Cahill has recorded music from The Future is Female in a three-volume set for UK-based label First Hand Records, with listeners wholeheartedly embracing her celebration of historical and living women composers. The third and final album in the set, Vol. 3 “At Play,” will be released on April 28, 2023. The second volume, Vol. 2 “The Dance,” was released in October 2022. In March 2022, coinciding with the release of the first volume, “Vol. 1, In Nature,” and in celebration of International Women’s Day, Cahill gave an eight-hour marathon performance of The Future is Female presented by the Barbican Centre. BBC Music Magazine writes of the recordings: “As with the fine first installment, the American pianist [Sarah Cahill] takes us on a chronological journey that zips around the world, stitching together contrasting styles into an enjoyable musical patchwork.” Musicweb International described Vol. 2, “The Dance,” as “a revelation,” while New Music Buff notes the “impressive command of baroque, classical, romantic, and modern idioms” that Cahill brings to the project. The Guardian reports, “The pleasure of this album is the variety of styles on offer,” while Classical Candor raves, “This is not just another piano recital recording, for Sarah Cahill is not just another pianist. Among other things, she is also a musical explorer, communicator, and advocate.”
For more information about Cahill’s The Future is Female albums, visit:
Vol 1:
Vol 2:
Vol 3:

Sarah Cahill’s recent performances of The Future is Female include concerts presented by The Barbican, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, 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, North Dakota Museum of Art, Mayville State University, the EXTENSITY Concert Series’ Women Now Festival in New York, and the Newport Classical Music Festival.
Complete program for The Future is Female on March 8, 2023 at the National Gallery of Art:

Hour One
Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de La Guerre: Keyboard Suite in D minor (1687) Fanny Mendelssohn: Lieder Op. 8, Nos. 1 and 3 (1846) Amy Beach: Dreaming (1892) Regina Harris Baiocchi: Piano Poems (2020) Teresa Carreño: Un rêve en mer, Op. 28 (1868) Louise Farrenc: Two Etudes, Op. 26 (1839)

Hour Two Hélène de Montgeroult: Sonata No. 9, Op. 5 No. 3 (1811) Adelaide Pereira da Silva: Valse Choro No. 2 (1965) Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water (1967) Maria Szymanowska: Nocturne in B-flat Major (1819) Franghiz Ali-Zadeh: Music for Piano (1989/1997) Clara Schumann: Variations, Op. 20 (1853) Clara Kathleen Rogers: Romanza (1894)


Hour Three Vitězslava Kapralova: April Preludes (1937) Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou: The Homeless Wanderer (1951) Ann Southam: Glass Houses, No. 7 (1981) Fannie Charles Dillon: Birds at Dawn (1917) Arlene Sierra: Birds and Insects, Book 3: Canyon Wren and Lovely Fairywren (2022) Helen Hopekirk: Prelude (1914) Theresa Wong: She Dances Naked Under Palm Trees (2019) Viola Kinney: A Mother’s Sacrifice (1908) Žibuoklé Martinaityté: Heights and Depths of Love, first mvt. (2009)

Hour Four Reena Esmail: Rang de Basant (2012) Germaine Tailleferre: Partita (1957) Zenobia Powell Perry: Rhapsody (1960) Chen Yi: Guessing (1989) Florence Price: Sonata in E minor, first mvt. (1932) Janice Giteck: Tara’s Love Will Melt the Sword (2002) Ruth Crawford Seeger: Preludes Nos. 6, 7, and 9 (1928) Mary D Watkins: Summer Days (2020) Meredith Monk: St. Petersburg Waltz (1997) Marion Bauer: Syncope (1930)

About Sarah Cahill: Sarah Cahill, hailed as “a sterling pianist and an intrepid illuminator of the classical avant-garde” by The New York Times, has commissioned and premiered over seventy compositions for solo piano. Composers who have dedicated works to Cahill include John Adams, Terry Riley, Frederic Rzewski, Pauline Oliveros, Julia Wolfe, Roscoe Mitchell, Annea Lockwood, and Ingram Marshall. Keyboard Magazine writes, “Through her inspired interpretation of works across the 20th and 21st centuries, Cahill has been instrumental in bringing to life the music of many of our greatest living composers.” She was named a 2018 Champion of New Music, awarded by the American Composers Forum (ACF).

Cahill enjoys working closely with composers, musicologists, and scholars to prepare scores for each performance. She researched and recorded music by prominent early 20th- century American modernists Henry Cowell and Ruth Crawford and commissioned a number of new pieces in tribute to their enduring influence. Cahill has worked closely with composer Terry Riley since 1997, and for his 80th birthday, she commissioned nine new works for solo piano in his honor and performed them with several of Riley’s own compositions at venues across the country. Cahill also had the opportunity to work closely with Lou Harrison and has championed many of his works for piano.

Cahill has performed classical and contemporary chamber music with artists and ensembles such as Jessica Lang Dance; pianists Joseph Kubera, Adam Tendler, and Regina Myers; violinist Stuart Canin; the Alexander String Quartet; New Century Chamber Orchestra; Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, and many more. She also performs as a duo with violinist Kate Stenberg.

Sarah Cahill’s discography includes more than twenty albums on the New Albion, CRI, New World, Tzadik, Albany, Innova, Cold Blue, Other Minds, Irritable Hedgehog, and Pinna labels. From March 2022 through April 2023, First Hand Records released Cahill’s three-album series as the recorded counterpart of her ongoing project, The Future is Female. Each volume bears the project’s name and a supporting theme: Vol. 1 “In Nature,” Vol. 2 “The Dance,” and Vol. 3 “At Play.” The series celebrates and highlights women composers from the 17th century to the present day, encompassing 30 compositions by women from around the globe, including many newly commissioned works and world premiere recordings.

Cahill’s radio show, Revolutions Per Minute, can be heard every Sunday evening from 6 to 8pm on KALW, 91.7 FM in San Francisco. She is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory and is a regular pre-concert speaker with the San Francisco Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

For more information, visit

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