Wednesday, 30 September, 2020 | 7:00 PM

Sarah Cahill

Challenging the Canon

An influential exponent of diversity in programming, Cahill reveals bias in the standard repertoire through side-by-side comparisons of works written by women and men.

To celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, Sarah Cahill is advocating for the integration of works written by women composers into standard repertoire for pianists. Demonstrating with pieces by Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Fanny Mendelssohn, Gabriela Ortiz, and others — along with a “blind listening” test confronting our biases about women composers — Cahill asks pianists to at least question, if not challenge, the canon of works we all study and perform at conservatories and universities and music schools around the world.

About the artist

An icon of the Bay Area new music scene, Sarah Cahill has collaborated with, commissioned, and premiered works by John Adams, Eve Beglarian, Kyle Gann, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley and Evan Ziporyn, among others. A major recording artist with dozens of releases (including a recent box set of the work of Terry Riley), Cahill was the 2018 recipient of the Champion of New Music Award from the American Composers Forum for her promotion of contemporary composers. She has extensively performed the works of women composers, past and present, and is currently touring with her installation/performance, “The Future is Female,” a communal feminist immersive listening experience that features more than 60 compositions by women from around the globe. Cahill is an alumna — and current faculty member — of SFCM.