SSO Celebrating the Voice of Women with Mujer

“These pieces are how they found their voice, they broke through and made themselves be heard.”

-Cosette Justo Valdés, Conductor

When you ask conductor Cosette Justo Valdés about her upcoming performance with the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, you hear pride in her own Cuban heritage and passion for the Latin and Spanish composers on the program.

“It’s overwhelmingly beautiful to offer something new and good and that audiences receive them with love, gratitude and curiosity.”

“For me, this is creating a meaningful connection between the world and these incredible composers,” says Justo Valdés. “It’s overwhelmingly beautiful to offer something new and good and that audiences receive them with love, gratitude and curiosity.”

Justo Valdés is proud to share the work of female composers throughout the world. (Dale MacMillan)

Mujer October 16 at St. John’s Cathedral will be a joyful celebration will span works from the 18th Century to modern day. Rebelión by one of the most celebrated Cuban composers Evelin Ramón, was completed only weeks ago. This performance will be its world premiere.

“This work reflects the reality of Cuba today. The audience will hear music performed on instruments of protest like cooking pots being hit with sticks, megaphones and trumpets,” explains Justo Valdés. “It’s the sound of rebellion, a call for war that is sometimes necessary in the fight for freedom.”

This female centred program is a continuation of priorities the SSO set out a few years ago and has continues to build.

“We are moving towards creating an environment where hearing works by female composers is no longer unusual,” says SSO CEO Mark Turner. “We’re making it standard practice and simply a celebration of beautiful music.” It’s a mission Justo Valdés shares.

“It is one of my most beloved projects,” she says. “It’s my passion to the works of female composers with orchestras and audiences wherever I go.”

The program also includes modern works by Latin American composers. Gabriela Lena Frank’s Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout and Entr’acte by Caroline Shaw are powerful, joyful pieces that have garnered wide-spread praise throughout North America and Europe.

The performance will end with the beginning. Spanish composer Marianna Martines was a trailblazer for female composers in the 18th Century. A friend of Mozart and Haydn, was the first to be admitted to the Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna in 1773. Her work Dixit Dominus will feature the SSO Chorus and featured soloists Casey Penden, Lisa Hornung, Spencer McKnight and Jordie Hughton with chorus conductor Duff Warkentin.

“There is so much history and purity from female composers through history and this program brings it all together,” says Justo Valdés. “We are celebrating women who broke down barriers and allowed us all to follow in their footsteps. Doing what has already been done and continuing to celebrate and share it.”



Sunday Oct. 16, 2022


St. John’s Cathedral

Tickets $38 – $43

For more information follow this link.