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​From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall:

The Story of Ethel Stark and the
Montreal Women's Symphony Orchestra

In the 1940s it was unheard of for women to be members of professional orchestras. Yet, Ethel Stark overcame discrimination and anti-Semitism when she gathered a rag-tag group of women to form the Montreal Women’s Symphony Orchestra, the first orchestra to represent Canada in New York’s Carnegie Hall. Musician and author Maria Rachwal shares the riveting story of this incredible Jewish woman and the groundbreaking women who broke gender stereotypes in the Canadian music world.




Maria Noriega Rachwal is a music teacher and musicologist living in Toronto. She has lectured throughout Canada on women in music and written articles on the subject for professional organizations. Maria has two masters’ degrees from the University of Calgary and has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. From Kitchen to Carnegie Hall is her first book.






June 2



10:00 - 11:00 AM



Free but tickets required

Note: All ticket-holders must arrive at least ten minutes before the event. Any seats not occupied at that time will be offered to walk-ins.  




Barbara Frum Library





20 Covington Road





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