The Ivors Academy Gold Badge awards celebrate 'exceptional talent in the UK music industry; individuals who inspire or support creativity and the professional lives of The Ivors Academy members'.
Women in Music founder member Odaline de la Martinez, known as Chachi, the artistic director and conductor of Lontano Ensemble, is a wonderful composer and a champion of work by women composers. She is joined in receiving this award by other outstanding women in music, the music publisher Jane Dyball, the music engineer Olga FitzRoy, the jazz pianist, composer and teacher Nikki Iles, the classical pianist, teacher and promoter of contemporary music Thalia Myers, and the former CEO of the PRS and now President & CEO of New Music USA, Vanessa Reed.
Women in Music sends a huge congratulations to all the recipients.
The awards will be presented at a ceremony in London on 11 October.
22nd London New Wind Festival and Colleagues present
A Celebration of the Life and Work of Robert Coleridge (1955-2019)
Music for Winds. Music for Piano Solo and Experimental Pieces
for Mixed Ensemble.
Thursday 19th September
The Warehouse Waterloo, 13 Theed Street, South Bank, London SE1
by Robert Coleridge and New Pieces by:
Ambler, Avril Anderson, David Sutton-Anderson, Giorgio Coslovich, Stephen
Gibson, Anthony Green, John Lewis, Michael Parsons, Catherine Pluygers,
Jane Serter and Hugh Shrapnel
of London New Wind Ensemble: Simon Desorgher Flutes, Catherine Pluygers
Oboes, Phil Edwards Clarinets, Ian Mitchell Clarinets, Henryk Sienkiewicz Horn,
Glynn Williams Bassoon, Alan Tomlinson Trombone, David Sutton-Anderson
Conductor and Peter O'Hagan Piano.
Pianists: Anthony Green, John Lewis, Michael Parsons, Hugh
Shrapnel, Ruth Shrapnel and Sarah Walker
The Dunedin Consort perform the world premieres of BBC commissions Chaconne by Ailie Robertson and The Last Dance? by Stevie Wishart, along with new works by Stuart MacRae and Nico Muhly. The new pieces are inspired by and performed alongside dances from Bach's Orchestral Suites.
Elizabeth Slater on continuing to shine a light on the work of women composers
and performers in Illuminate Women’s Music 2019 Seasons I and II.
Illuminate Women’s Music was set up by Dr
Angela Elizabeth Slater in 2017 for the promotion of music, both historical and
contemporary, composed by women. Illuminate Women’s Music also supports
talented female performers, giving repeat performance opportunities across the
2018 was an amazing first year for
Illuminate Women’s Music. To begin to readdress the gender imbalance in the UK
classical music industry, Illuminate hosted a touring concert series that
solely programmed music by women composers from the past and present. In 2018,
Illuminate Women’s music programmed ten successful concerts across the UK that
supported five emerging women composers. We also programmed historical works by
Amy Beach, Morfydd Owen, Marie-Louise Simon, Clara Schumann, Hilda Jerea,
Grażyna Bacewicz and Lili Boulanger.
2018 marked a wonderful year for
celebrating women’s music with new organisations, projects and individuals working
with unwavering dedication and passion in this area. Examples include a number
of excellent resources: Archiv Frau und Musik, Composer Diversity Database,
Music Theory Examples by Women (MTEW), International Alliance for Women in
Music (IAWM), The Daffodil perspective (a radio show dedicated to women
composers), A Modern Reveal, Salon Without Boundaries and Illuminate Women’s own
blog series as well to name a few. There are also lots of wonderful festivals
and organisations that have recently been established including Lili Boulanger
Initiative, Scordatura, Sounding the Feminists and - new to 2019 - Cambridge
Women’s Festival, to name but a few.
2019 will also see Kings Place’s new
award-winning flagship series focusing on the creative firepower of women
composers: Venus Unwrapped. Across twelve months and more than
sixty events, this series will explore the history of music by women, beginning
with medieval nuns and moving through to modern times. This series of concerts
be a hugely welcome addition to the mission of bringing women composers to
2018 also saw many festivals across
the world sign up to the PRS Keychange Initiative for 50/50 gender balance in
programming by 2022. Subscribers include significant festivals in the UK, such
as BBC Proms, Cheltenham Music Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music
Festival, Spitalfields Music, and many more.
Evidence of these developments can
be found in the Women in Music survey, which shows positive change in BBC proms
2018 programming. In 2017 women composers only constituted 7.5% of all
composers programmed, whereas in 2018 saw this number rose to 14%.
Representation of women composers in the living composers category rose from
22% to 40%, as did BBC Proms commissions of female composers which grew from
30.8% in 2017 to 63% in 2018. This is a huge shift that demonstrates a good
statement of intent which will hopefully bring about real and substantive
change in future programming.
However, surveys of 2018 programming
were not universally positive. Bachtrack’s annual survey showed that only 17% of
the contemporary music performed in UK concert halls in 2018 were by women
composers, compared to Sweden that had 37%. Figures in other countries aren’t
much better with 16% in the US and as low as 5% in both France and Germany. Statistics
compiled by Donne Women in Music Project show that across a sample of leading
orchestras and concert series, only 76 classical concerts out of 1,445
performed across the world from 2018 to 2019 include at least one piece by a
woman. These figures also show a total of 3,524 musical works will be
performed at those concerts, and, of those, 3,442 (97.6%) were written by men
and only 82 (2.3%) were written by women. The figure amounts to about 95% of concerts
having music composed by men only. These examples demonstrate how important it
is to keep this issue at the forefront of the minds of musicians, programmers,
festivals and music organisations.
During 2018, the centenary year of
women’s suffrage, the issue of women composers in concert programmes has been a
particularly hot topic. Many new initiatives and pledges have been made by a
variety of organisations and this is to be celebrated. As we leave the year of
the centenary of women’s suffrage behind we need to be vigilant that these commitments
do not fall by the wayside or become less important as time goes on.
Illuminate Women’s Music, now in its
second year of running its touring concert series, is proud to continuing
supporting women composers from both the past and present as well as
particularly supporting women performers. The reason I originally set up
Illuminate Women’s Music is still more relevant that ever, with programming
only changing very slowly. Related to this, change in the pedagogical sphere is
moving at an even slower pace. It is vital that women composers are seen and
heard by the general public across the UK; as Betty Atterbury expresses, ‘Omission
is a powerful teacher’ so we should seek change in our educational, programming
and commissioning spheres.
Much of the concert-going audience,
by their own admission, know very little about women’s music. This can be seen
from Illuminate’s 2018 concert survey, which showed that 64% of Illuminate’s audience
admitted to never having heard of any of the women composers on the programme
before. By programming both historical and living women composers side-by-side
in Illuminate concerts, I hope to continue to create a forum to celebrate
creative women from across the ages. In the long term, I hope works by women
composers will be considered as equal to canonic works whose places are safe in
concert programmes. As our knowledge of female composers grows, continued
omission is unacceptable; lack of a fair hearing leads to unjustifiable
neglect. I hope through Illuminate Women’s Music, to begin to reverse the tide,
even in a small way.
Illuminate Women’s Music has two
seasons in 2019, supporting even more women composers and performers than
before. llluminate’s first 2019 season (March-September
2019), which is supported by the PRS Foundation Open Fund for Organisation and Ambache
Charitable Trust, supports five new commissions from composers Kerensa
Briggs and Laura Shipsey and Illuminate composers in residence, Angela
Elizabeth Slater, Sarah Westwood, and Blair Boyd, for new works for
Boston-based Prism trio and UK- based Ethel Smyth
Trio . Having been premiered in Boston, MA earlier this year several UK
performances are soon to follow, with visits to Brighton Music and
Wine series at St Luke’s on 30th August, York Late Music series on 7th
September, 14th September Music at St Mary’s in Stafford, and
Stonevale concert series in Oxford 15th September. Historical works
by Morfydd Owen, Grażyna Bacewicz and. Historical
works by Morfydd Owen, Grażyna Bacewicz and Ethel Smyth will be programmed
alongside these new works. Highlights will include Morfydd Owen’s 1914 piano trio, a work which has
never been performed in the US and is little known in the UK, and Lili Boulanger’s
D’un Matin de Printemps for piano
Illuminate Women’s Music is delighted to be supporting the promotion of Morfydd
Owen’s music again in 2019. 2018 marked the centenary of Morfydd’s death and
therefore it is more important than ever to bring her music to audiences. In
2019 Morfydd Owen’s music will be performed across the UK at Ludlow English
Song Festival in April, Llangollen International Musical Eisteddford in July
and, excitingly, the Cardiff University Chamber Choir are planning to tour some
of Owen’s choral music in China at the end of the year. You can find out more
about the recent surge in interest of Morfydd’s Owen music in Dr Rhian Davies
Season II (September-November 2019) sees the formation of the Illuminate string
quartet from performers Clarice Rarity (violin), Christine Cornwell (violin)
Katherine Clarke (viola) and Cecelia Bignall (cello) who will also be joined by
soprano singer Patricia Auchterlonie. Season II has commissioned Illuminate composers in residence as well as
Caroline Bordignon, Yfat Soul Zisso and Joanna Ward. Illuminate Season II will
start at University of Bangor’s Second International Conference on Women’s Work
in Music on 5th September, highlighting historical composers Rebecca
Clarke, and Barbara Strozzi. This is particularly significant as 2019 marks
the (birth) anniversaries of composer Barbara Strozzi, and the 40th anniversary
of the death of Rebecca Clarke.
season II will then visit Birmingham (Centrala 12th October), Oxford
(St Michael’s near Northgate 4th November), University of Huddersfield
(7th November), University College Oxford (8th November)
and Emmanuel College Cambridge (9th November). In these concerts we
are also looking forward to programming music Ruth Crawford Seeger and her
talented student Vivian Fine with her Four
Songs for string quartet and soprano.
Illuminate Women’s Music 2019 concerts
will showcase the rich and exciting variety in women’s music, rightly bringing
this wonderful repertoire as well as new works to new audiences both in the US
and UK! I hope you will join
Illuminate for both our season I and II concerts this year to celebrate the
music and work of women composers and performers.
Elizabeth Slater is founder and director Illuminate Women’s Music.