This thematic, female-curated series, now in its seventh season, connects women across platforms in a unifying, multifaceted event, which includes a reception, an award ceremony, a performance, and an afterparty.
Lynn Bechtold, Milica Paranosic and Keve Wilson—the founders of Ladies First—are three women at the cutting edge of NYC’s contemporary music scene, and they are forging a new path in this creative concept of concert production.
Ladies First - HONEYTRAPS -
October 3rd, 2019
KGB Espionage Museum, 245 W 14th St, New York, NY 10011
‘It was an absolutely unique and refreshing experience in an intimate space packed with creativity and provocative commentary. a true privilege to be among such a talented group of artists.’ ~ Mona El-Naggar
With Gloria Coates, Megan Curet, Pavla Niklova, Valerie Naranjo, Kathleen Supové, Margaret Leng Tan
And your hosts: LF founders
Milica, Lynn and Keve
October 22, 2020 at 7 PM EDT
2020 marks the 8th Season of Ladies First productions. As we can’t perform live for an audience this year, we will present an online forum to celebrate past participants.Reflecting upon our current times, our guests Gloria Coates, Megan Curet, Valerie Naranjo, Pavla Niklova, Kathleen Supové and Margaret Leng Tan–all featured artists in past LF productions–will share what they’ve been up to in the past 6 months with us, during this virtual Ladies First event. Grab your Eventbrite ticket to get the zoom invite, get your RGB cocktail ready, and join us at on Oct 22nd at 7pm for a night of music, dance, video, conversation and political enthusiasm!
In its seventh season, this year’s all-female cast/female produced Ladies First series centers its theme around female spies (honey traps) and their tactics through times, cultures and socio-political contexts.
The production follows Ladies First’s signature four-part formula, which includes a reception, an award ceremony, a performance and an after-party. This year, the performance portion will be an installation, complementing the museum setting. The performance will be staged throughout the museum, with the performers strategically placed in their positions and incorporated into the context. The museum curator, Agne Urbaityte, will act as a guide, and will lead the audience from one performance spot to the next. The audience is invited to walk around and get close to the performers and learn about some of the artifacts in the museum. Chairs will be provided for those visitors who need to be seated.
The performance will last about 45 minutes and will occur three times during the evening: at 7:00 PM, 7:45 PM and 8:30 PM. The audience members can enter at any time after 6:30 PM and stay as long as they want. VIP ticket holders will receive a free gift and a complimentary after-party cocktail.
The roster of artists include Lynn Bechtold, Hai-Ting Chinn, Megan Curet, Jennifer DeVore, ,Cheri Magid Milica Paranosic, Erin Rogers, Mioi Takeda, Agne Urbaityte, Anna Veismane, Ann Warren, and others, who will be reflecting on spy stories of Josephine Baker, Anna Chapman, Judith Coplan, Mata Hari, Vera Pešić, and others, through music, spoken word and dance performances.
The (secret) lady of honor will be presented an award made by artist Cecilia Mandrile in a festive award ceremony, following the Russian spy-themed reception, which will take place at 6:30 PM.
The afterparty will take place at The Crooked Knife, 232 W 14th Street, NYC 10011 (also between 7th and 8th Aves).
Hightlights from Ladies First - HoneyTraps
Oct 3rd, 2019 at the KGB Espionage Museum in NYC
Our 6th annual Ladies First event highlights the accomplishments of female first-timers. Visionary artists, writers, scientists, social justice fighters and other frontier fighters are being presented in our signature festive 4-part event.
Special presentations include a tribute to our friend and mentor, professor Pia Gilbert (1921-2018) and our guest of honor, Valerie Dee Naranjo of the Saturday Night Live Band, known for her pioneering efforts in West African keyboard percussion music, all in a beautiful visual all in beautiful visual setting Grace Weaver's art.
We are thrilled to be partnering with the James Cohan Gallery who will be hosting the event.
October 28 2018 6:30 PM
291 GRAND ST
NEW YORK NY 10002
With Lynn Bechtold, Gloria Coates, Kelly Ellenwood, Beatriz Ferreyra, Debra Kaye, Sibyl Kempson, Margaret Lancaster, Laurie San Martin, Johari Mayfield, Kirin McElwain, Valerie Dee Naranjo, Milica Paranosic, Mioi Takeda, Ann Warren and others.
Links availalble by request only
An excerpt from Ladies First - Pioneers
The fifth annual Ladies First production
May 11, 2018 at 7 pm
Location: Opera America
330 7th Avenue
Artistic Portraits of: Pauline Viardot, Anna Maria Mozart, Fanny Mendelssohn, Alma Mahler, Clara Schumann and others, and drawing parallels with women of today, whose voices are not heard without a permission of their male contemporaries. As with our previous events, this multi-faceted event, celebrated women and their achievements across disciplines in a festive event, containing a reception, award ceremony, concert and an after-party.
Mona El-Naggar is a reporter and senior video producer at The New York Times. She evolved into a filmmaker after more than a decade covering the Middle East. She documented the breakdown of the social contract between the leadership and people that led to the great unraveling – the Arab Spring. She quickly realized that Identity was the core driver of complex, chaotic events. So she began to focus on youth, women and religious extremism.
Mona spent a year reporting a project called Generation Faithful, a series of stories, videos and blog posts that went deep into the lives of young people in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
She worked in nearly every country in the Middle East. She was chased by stone-throwing children at the funeral for the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. She was confronted by the secret police in Libya. She reported from Gaza and spent time with Houthi rebels in Yemen. She was harassed, pilloried in the press and had her loyalty questioned for practicing journalism in her home country, Egypt.
Since turning to filmmaking she has won acclaim for her work. She was a Pulitzer finalist for her film on a young Egyptian man who transformed from a bodybuilder into an ISIS killer. She was part of a team that produced an Emmy-nominated piece on a victim who escaped an ISIS massacre. She directed Ladies First, a documentary that offers a penetrating look at the life of women in Saudi Arabia as they vote and run in an election for the first time. Her latest work, The Story of Esraa, explores years of social and political turmoil in Egypt through the intimate story of one woman’s quest for independence.
Mona studied political economy at Georgetown University and received a masters in news and documentary from New York University.
Sunday, October 2nd 2016 7PM
The National Opera Center – Marc A. Scorca Hall
The fourth annual Ladies First production, entitled Ladies First – We’re All Immigrants was a huge success. We performed in front of the sold-out Marc A. Scorca Hall of Opera America.
As with our previous events, this multi-faceted event, celebrated women and their achievements across disciplines in a festive event, containing a reception, award ceremony, concert and an after-party.
Ladies First - We’re all Immigrants - was funded in part by a grant from New York Women Composers
Ladies First 2014: Hit it! June 13, 2014, 7:00 - 10:30 p.m
Bohemian National Hall
The third annual Ladies First production draws from the fascinating connection between sports and music. In our upcoming production, Ladies First will offer a personal reflection on various aspects of this connection, from comparative performance of the musical piece with a football (soccer) match through explorations of sports which are traditionally performed and rehearsed to music–such as skating, and capoeira to setting music to a live beat of a ping pong match, and much more. It will be an evening-long celebration of the two not-so-different performance forms, which touch so many lives around the globe through the universal language of passion and lifelong commitment.
Music and performances by Lynn Bechtold, Ken Butler (Tzadik records), Vicky Chow (Bang on Can), Dan Cooper (Ute Lemper/Sound Liberation/Erbium), Valerie Coleman (Imani Winds), Lori Cotler (AKA Loire), Jennifer DeVore (Zentripetal), Patrick Grant (Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars), Roxan Jurkevich (Barcelona Symphony Orchestra), Milica Paranosic, Gene Pritsker (Sound Liberation/Absolute Ensemble), Michiyo Suzuki (Absolute Ensemble), Mioi Takeda (Miolina), Keve Wilson, and Czech electroacoustic duo DVA.
Featured athletes include Emma Hayes of Chelsea Ladies, Sonya “The Scholar” Limonakis and sensei Noboru Kataoka, kendo master.
Reception with 7 – 7:45PM
Includes exhibion of Ken Butler’s ‘Sport Collection’ musical instruments and the Third Annual Ladies First Award Ceremony (award made by Ken Butler)
Concert 8 – 9:30PM
Afterparty 9:30 – 10:30PM
Ladies First 2013
-Tell It Like It Is-
20 June 2013
Bohemian National Hall
321 E 73rd Street NYC 10021
Writers include The Moth contributer Marika Hughes, AFP journalist Gersende Rambourg, Self Magazine contributer Corinne Ramey, ABC News producer Christine Romo, writer-producer-educator Adina Williams, and transdisciplinary writer Quintan Ana Wikswo, among others.
Ladies First is a refreshing new concept for a concert series; a collective highlighting female artists in multiple genres. Musicians and composers come together with artists, founders of non-profits, authors, and filmmakers, to create an evening of music and purpose.
With the intention of women empowering other women through art, the event is a celebration of local and global accomplishments. Lynn Bechtold, Milica Paranosic and Keve Wilson—the founders of Ladies First—are three women at the cutting edge of NYC’s contemporary music scene, and they are forging a new path in this creative concept of concert production.
(Co-produced by Composers Concordance, Composers Concordance Records, the Bohemian National Hall, and the Czech Center.)
Damien Bassman, percussion
Lynn Bechtold, violin
Dan Cooper, 7-string bass guitar
Marika Hughes, cello/vocals
Shinae Kim, piano
Gene Pritsker, guitar
Margaret Leng Tan, toy piano
Keve Wilson, oboe
Anja Wood, cello
Monica Yunus, soprano
Camille Zamora, soprano
Performing works by:
Bob Aldridge, Lynn Bechtold, Svjetlana Bukvich, Dan Cooper, Antonin Dvorak, Herschel Garfein, Scott Gendel, Ge Gan-Ru, Marika Hughes, Veronika Krausas, Milica Paranosic, & Gene Pritsker
With contributing journalists/writers:
Peter Christian Hall, Gersende Rambourg, Corinne Ramey, Christine Romo, Quintan Ana Wikswo & Adina Williams
Inspired by adventurous women, musicians Milica Paranosic, Keve Wilson, and Lynn Bechtold initiated the Ladies First concept. More than just a concert, this inaugural event will acknowledge women in diverse fields.
This innovative chamber music concert will present music by today's leading composers together with music of past times and remote places. Performed by the finest of New York's chamber musicians, this unique, creative, and courageous production features the ladies of CCR. The evening will focus on the aesthetics of the Bohemian style, both in its traditional historical sense and in its denotation of the Bohemian style today.
The women of Ladies First are embracing the age they live in, in which the ladies are allowed, encouraged, and inspired to take the lead in any and all areas of life and arts, while losing nothing of their grace, charm, and magnetism-once their only allowed assets.
At the event, a special woman will be awarded the first Ladies First award, created by NYC artist Cecilia Mandrile.
Lynn Bechtold: Murmur
Peter Breiner: The Magic Garden of Casual Delights
Dan Cooper: Follies à Deux Deux
Antonin Dvorak: Rondo for Cello & Piano, Op.94
Lady Gaga: Poker Face
Patrick Grant: Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms
Alvin Lucier: Violynn
Milica Paranosic: New Bohemian Suite
featuring melodies of Vitezslava Kapralova & Alma Mahler
Astor Piazzolla: Fracanapa
Gene Pritsker: Ladies First Tango
Keve Wilson: Dvorak Episode #1
plus other Dvorak Episodes by Dan, Gene, Lynn, Milica, Patrick, & Peter