CAPPELLA CLAUSURA, a Newton-based professional vocal ensemble, is proud to present Das Jahr, the second program of 2023-2024 season featuring pianist Lois Shapiro. Das Jahr (The Year) by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, is a dazzling solo piano piece inspired by the essence of each month in the calendar year. We’ve broken it up with vocal quartets by Mendelssohn Hensel and Clara Schumann that will be performed by Cappella Clausura’s eight core singers. This performance by Cappella Clausura is a testament to the brilliant works that came from women in the Romantic Era and an amazing composition in the larger form by Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel.
Das Jahr was written by Fanny as a gift for her painter husband Wilhelm after a trip taken from Rome to her home in Berlin. It is considered to be a reflection of her journey, almost a diary, as well as an example of her unmatched compositional ability. Often compared to her older, more famous brother, Felix, Fanny faced limitations in her success due to her gender and status in society. However, her talents weren’t unrecognized by Felix himself. He even nicknamed her “Minerva” after the goddess of wisdom since he often found himself going to Fanny for a second ear to bounce musical ideas after, often taking her critique into consideration for rewrites. Throughout her life, Fanny composed many different pieces that were comparable to that of her brother.
Lois Shapiro, our guest performer for Das Jahr, is a New York Concert Artist Guild winner, reviewed subject of the Boston Globe, and highly regarded maestra and teacher of the piano. Shapiro has performed globally and has given workshops in Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna. In addition to this, Shapiro has worked as an instructor at many reputable institutions like Smith College, Brandeis University, New England Conservatory, and the Longy School of Music. She currently works at Wellesley College as faculty and Artist-in-Residence and is a founding member of Triple Helix.