When the National Gallery closed during the London Blitz, Dame Myra Hess persuaded the gallery’s director to reopen for an immensely popular series of lunchtime classical concerts that gave the war-weary British an infusion of culture and beauty.
Sylvia Rosner Rothchild used her writing talents to turn oral history interviews with Holocaust survivors and Russian refuseniks into engaging accounts that challenged stereotypes and captured American mainstream audiences.
Adrienne Cooper played a critical role in the revival of Yiddish music as founder of the Yiddish Folk Arts Program (KlezKamp), a group that brought together musicians, linguists, and anthropologists to recover the tradition of Klezmer.
As founder of the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, Ethel Stark broke down barriers, becoming the first woman to conduct an orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 1947 and welcoming Violet Grant States as the first black woman member of a Canadian symphony orchestra.
Ruth Meckler Laredo’s astonishing piano performances caused one New York Times reporter to write, “Her hands sometimes appear to hover over the keys, a blur to the eyes if not the ears…But what hummingbird ever packed such power?“