Libby Larsen started composing in America in the 1970s, a time and place when a woman composer was a reason for everyone to point and say, “Look at that!” In addition to co-founding what is now the American Composers Forum, she has compiled a body of work that speaks with her distinctive voice without going to lengths to differentiate itself from the work of her male colleagues. She’s here this weekend when TCU’s Festival of American Song pays tribute to her with two days of her music.
The Saturday performances are mostly by student singers and focus on Larsen’s cowboy-oriented works such as Songs From Letters, setting text of letters from Calamity Jane to her daughter to music, and My Ántonia and Margaret’s Songs, both taking inspiration from the words of Willa Cather. Try Me Good King takes the letters of five of Henry VIII’s wives shortly before their executions as their text. The Sunday performances include Love After 1950, a set of songs to poetry by women from the post-World War II period, including Rita Dove and Muriel Rukeyser. When one of America’s greatest living composers comes to town, it’s an occasion not to be missed.
The Festival of American Song runs Sat-Sun at TCU, PepsiCo Recital Hall, 2800 S University Dr, FW. Tickets are $10. Call 817-257-7602.