While classical music composition in the United Kingdom before the 20th century largely remained the purview of the English, Ina Boyle (1889-1967) stands out as an Irish, and female, composer of this period. In her lifetime, Boyle’s potential was witnessed by Ralph Vaughan Williams, with whom she studied in 1926. Her travels became severely limited after the start of World War II, cutting her off from her musical contacts in London and beyond. In spite of a prolific compositional portfolio, Boyle’s works were rarely performed and mostly unknown.
This year’s Ciro Zoppo Award Concert, which annually presents the work and biographies of unknown and lesser-known composers, will bring Boyle’s work to the U.S. with the North American premieres of her important chamber works, including Three Ancient Irish Poems and Three Songs by Walter de la Mare. Featuring Louise Thomas (piano), Monica Chieffo (harp), Farrah O’Shea (viola) and Zoppo recipient Caitlin Vaughn Carlos (voice), the program will also look at Boyle's fascinating biography.
The Ciro Zoppo Research Fellowship, generously funded by Ms. Rosemary Zoppo, encourages the study and performance of the works of lesser-known composers with a $3,000 prize for a graduate student in Musicology. Students share their research in the form of a performance/lecture recital.