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The Eternal Feminine

Mezzo soprano Susanne Mentzer and pianist Craig Rutenberg

The Eternal Feminine was named one of “the best and most memorable classical concerts… given in Chicago during the past year…” by Tribune Music Critic John von Rhein. Von Rhein also noted that “Not only was some worthwhile music heard, but instructive points were made about music and gender” and said that “Mentzer sang with her usual vocal beauty and intelligence.”


The Eternal Feminine” was a concert presented by Artistic Circles and Ann Feldman on August 7th, 2000. It was held at the historic Martin Theater at Ravinia and featured work of historical and contemporary female composers performed by mezzo soprano Susanne Mentzer. Artistic Circles and Ann Feldman commissioned a song cycle by composer Libby Larsen entitled “Love After 1950” especially for the event.

“The High Point of the concert was undoubtedly the world premiere of Libby Larsen’s song cycle “Love After 1950“. It turned the idea of the art song on its head. Instead of patterning itself on the old concept of the art song Larsen used poetry of five contemporary women and musical forms of the blues, torch song, honky-tonk, and tango.”

Ann Feldman, director, artistic circles

The Eternal Feminine ©2001 KOCH International Classics.

Program Highlights

  • “The program will traverse three centuries with songs by Clara Schumann, whose performances of her husband’s music spread his fame throughout the Western world, Alma Mahler, who was commanded to stop composing by her husband Gustav, and Lili Boulanger, the first woman to ever win the Grand Prix de Rome in 1913.”
  • “Other composers include Americans Amy Beach, who enjoyed considerable success during her lifetime (1897-1944), and Libby Larsen, whose work was commissioned especially for this concert…”


Dorothy Andries, Pioneer Press, Women’s Songs To Be Sung

Suzanne Mentzer, Mezzo-soprano
Discussion session about The Eternal Feminine.

Press and Publications

  • Libby Larsen’s song cycle Love After 1950 was published by Oxford Press in 2001
  • KOCH International released the CD of “The Eternal Feminine” in 2001, and it was nominated for a GRAMMY Award.