The Music Institute of Chicago presents the Cleveland ensemble Burning River Baroque, performing a free concert that explores well-known and overlooked female composers at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave.

“Twisted Fate: Famed and Forgotten Female Composers” blends works from antiquity to the present and explores the ways in which historical circumstances twisted the lives of some women into the spotlight and others into the shadows. The history of Western music predominantly focuses on the lives and works of male teachers, composers, and performers. In eras when women rarely had access to the same educational and professional opportunities as their male colleagues, it can be easy to presume that women were simply not as productive and successful in the field. A closer look at history, however, reveals that some women were able to rise above the gender restrictions placed on them and achieved great success as professional musicians. Others led more private professional lives cloistered in abbeys and composing for their fellow sisters.

Burning River Baroque seeks to throw open the doors of the concert hall to people who may never have considered classical music and create concerts that appeal to all types of audiences.