Ruth Lomon: Champion of Women in the Arts
September 29, 2017
Dear friend and composer, Ruth Lomon, died this week at the age of 86. Ruth was one of the founders of American Women Composers of New England. A tireless champion for the promotion of women composers in classical music, Ruth’s own music was fresh, modern, complex and thought provoking. Jazzy, atonal and full of surprises, her “Shadowing: Running With The Wolves,” (Navona Records) is an excellent example of Ruth at the height of her powers. The version featuring acclaimed pianist, Eileen Hutchins, is one of the best. Ruth and her husband Earle, a noted physicist and retired MIT professor, spent a great deal of time in New Mexico. “Shadowing,” and many others were inspired by that landscape and culture.
Perhaps Ruth’s most moving body of work, her “Songs of Remembrance” received its premiere at Harvard University in the 2000s. “Songs” is comprised of music set to the text of poems and journal entries Ruth discovered at the Library of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Israel. The pieces are gripping, lyrical and steely-eyed in their attention to the devastation that that experience had on its victims.
Ruth was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and remained a longtime scholar at the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center. Composing literally up to her last days, Ruth was tireless in her devotion to her craft. There are no words to explain what a loss it will be for the community of composers and artists everywhere now that Ruth is gone. But her music lives on, and for that we should be grateful.