Mary Elizabeth Bowden and the Kassia Ensemble are proud to present outstanding new arrangements and compositions for trumpet, strings, and harp this summer. The studio recording of their collaboration will be released in April 2019 through Summit Records, and they are booking tours and residencies for 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons. All members of the collaboration are women, and the recording features works by female composers, Sarah Kirkland Snider, Catherine McMichael, and Germaine Tailleferre.
The recording will feature virtuosic works by Bach, Stephenson, Kirkland Snider, McMichael, DeJonge, Mozart, Bellini, Debussy, Tailleferre, and Marcello.
Mary Elizabeth Bowden and the Kassia Ensemble made their debut together in winter of 2019 in Naples, Florida at First Presbyterian Church Concert Series in Naples, followed by a spring residency at Penn State Erie.
Kassia Ensemble is a newly formed chamber group in the city of Pittsburgh. Comprised exclusively of women, its members also hold positions in the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet orchestras, the West Virginia Symphony, the Wheeling Symphony, and the Canton Symphony Orchestras.
The members of the Kassia Ensemble came together in an effort to supersede the gender barrier that is prevalent in classical music. The decision was made to form an all-female ensemble in efforts to create an empowering environment of mutual respect and support which frees women to collaborate and express themselves at the highest levels of musicianship, artistry, and performance. The Kassia Ensemble promotes female entrepreneurship and leadership in the arts, while simultaneously embracing the performers’ unique experiences as women that deepen and expand their own creative output.
Kassia Ensemble offers unique programming, from the classics to contemporary music, highlighting male and female composers from the past and the present. Their flexible instrumentation allows for refreshing variety in performance. A concert experience may include everything from a harp trio to a bass quintet, a piano concerto, and a chamber orchestra work, all in one sitting.
As a result of their own life experiences, the members of the Kassia Ensemble feel a sense of responsibility to use their talents to promote social justice and engage in charitable projects for the benefit of struggling women.
Kassia was a Byzantine abbess, poet, composer, and hymnographer, whose talent and character serve as inspiration for the ensemble.