'Bread and Roses': Celebrate women in classical music for Women's Equality Day

Listen to Bread and Roses, a special honoring Women's Equality Day.Brooke Knoll/APM

Bread and Roses


August 25, 2020

Women's Equality Day commemorates the date on which the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution was adopted — Aug. 26, 1920. The amendment says this: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex."

Although American women won the vote 100 years ago, that right did not at first extend to all women, and you'll hear more about that in Bread and Roses. And though the 19th Amendment finally passed in 1920, it was first introduced in 1878, beginning a long struggle. There's music in this special that reflects those early years of the women's movement and music by some of the most powerful, diverse and committed women in classical music across the past 100 years.

The title of the special comes from a quote by Helen Todd, one of the first campaigners for women's suffrage, who explained the goals of the early women's movement this way:

Woman is the mothering element in the world and her vote will go toward helping forward the time when life's Bread, which is home, shelter and security, and the Roses of life, music, education, nature and books, shall be the heritage of every child that is born in the country, in the government of which she has a voice.

Since winning the right to vote, women have continued to fight for equality in all things. Women in classical music have continued to fight for recognition, education and support from fellow musicians and performing organizations.

In Bread and Roses, you'll hear from conductors Marin Alsop and Joann Falletta and composers Valerie Coleman and Caroline Shaw, sharing their feelings about the limitations that still hold women back, and their advice for women seeking a career in classical music. The music in this program will assure you that women in music have a great deal to say, and many ways to say it.


• Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman No. 1 — Colorado Symphony Orchestra/Marin Alsop
• Mimi Farina/James Oppenheim: Bread and Roses — The King Singers
• Amy Beach: Romance — Rachel Barton Pine, violin/Matthew Hagle, piano
• Ethel Smyth: March of the Women — Plymouth Music Series/Philip Brunelle
• Florence Price: Symphony No. 1, mvt. 3 — Fort Smith Symphony/John Jeter
• Margaret Bonds: The Ballad of the Brown King: IX: Alleluia — Laquita Mitchell, soprano/Lucia Bradford/mezzo-soprano/Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra/Malcolm J Merriweather
• Trad. Arr Florence Price: My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord — Marian Anderson, contralto/Franz Rupp, piano
• Missy Mazzoli: Song from the Uproar: I Have Arrived — Abagail Fischer/Mezzo/Now Ensemble
• Jennifer Higdon: Amazing Grace — Serafin String Quartet
• Libby Larsen: Symphony No. 1 "Water Music", Mvt 2 "Hot, Still" — Minnesota Orchestra/Sir Neville Marriner
• Caroline Shaw: Partita: Sarabande — Roomful of Teeth
• Valerie Coleman: Umoja — Imani Winds
• Gabriela Lena Frank: Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout — Coqueteos — Chiara String Quartet
• Mimi Farina/James Oppenheim: Bread and Roses — The King Singers