In a novel broadcast, CRB Classical 99.5 treats listeners to a pair of concert performances of sacred music, by Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th-century nun who channeled her visions from the divine into poetry and music, and three sopranos performing a collection of Renaissance arias. The broadcast, which premiered in March and is available to stream, showcases performances from last year’s Boston Early Music Festival. 

von Bingen’s shimmering music was sung by the Prague-based all-women Tiburtina Ensemble, and three sopranos Amanda Forsythe, Dorothee Mields, and Cecilia Duarte performed a collection of Renaissance arias. The two-hour program debuted during Women’s History Month, escorting listeners through nearly a millennium of women’s contributions to classical music. What’s more, this broadcast was also produced by an all-female team here at CRB Classical 99.5 — director Kendall Todd, host and producer Edyn-Mae Stevenson, and radio engineer Téa Mottolese.

“Women are underrepresented in classical music concerts and broadcasts,” said Todd, noting that only 7.9% of principal conductors worldwide are women and that women made up just 11% of the most-performed composers in 2023. “This broadcast connects the threads of women in music through history. It takes us back to sacred music in the 1100s then goes through Renaissance music in the 14th and 15th centuries that is really fresh and sparkling, especially for female voices.” 

“Concerts like these strengthen the unique cultural fabric of Boston and New England and broadcasting them is what public media is designed to do,” said Brian McCreath, CRB director of production. “The producer/host, director, and audio engineer who created this program represent the best of our dynamic, intelligent, and creative team.” 

For the women of CRB, the broadcast brought together their love of music and passion for public media. 

“This kind of program aligns with GBH's desire to educate,” said Stevenson. “I studied this music in university and it’s incredible now to be at CRB and introduce people to this wonderful music that they might not have heard and to provide information about these amazing women.” 

For radio engineer Mottolese, the broadcast was an opportunity to advance the arts. “It’s so important that people continue to be exposed to and appreciate art of all discipines, especially works that may not be well-known or understood.“ 

This is what public media seeks to do. It seeks not only to educate the audience but enrich their lives.
Téa Mottolese

“Radio is a perfect medium to open doors to music,” said Todd. ”It’s a very egalitarian media form — anyone can access it from anywhere. If a listener hears something really beautiful that they’ve never heard before, maybe they’ll come back to listen to more concerts or even go to the concert next time.” 

Combining two recordings from two very different venues — Emmanuel Church and Jordan Hall — into a broadcast with seamless sound was challenging, and transitioning from the first concert of very reverent music to the more spirited Renaissance concert was tricky. 

“It was a little challenging to marry the sounds of sacred music sung on a quiet Sunday afternoon in an abbey by women of faith to the very fun, late-night Renaissance concert that was much more rowdy,” said Stevenson. “But part of the reason the broadcast is so fun is because of those two moods.” 

“This is what public media seeks to do,” said Mottolese. “It seeks not only to educate the audience but enrich their lives.” 

Experience the concert, read the program notes, and listen to McCreath’s interview with Tiburtina’s founder and leader Barbora Kabátková here.