Tailleferre Ensemble, Friday 24 May at 1.05 pm, Music-at-Hill, St Giles-in-the-Fields Church, London

'The Tailleferre Ensemble is a new chamber collective of female musicians with two principle aims: to promote women in music and to provide a malleable chamber ensemble that can perform works for varied instrumentation, from wind trios to string octets, and varied genre. We will also aim to highlight chamber works by female composers and to commission new works.

Our first set of recitals is for wind trio and quartet, and will feature Emma Halnan on flute, Rebecca Etheridge on bassoon, and Penny Smith and myself on oboe. We are all experienced solo and chamber musicians, with ample biographies as individuals.'

St Giles-in-the-Fields Church,
60 St Giles High Street, London WC2H 8LG (nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road)

Shin-Itchiro Yokoyama - 'Souvenir de Caen'  

Joseph Haydn - 'London Trio no. 1'   i Allegro Moderato ii Andante iii Vivave

Melchior Hoffmann - 'Trio sonata in G minor'   i Adagio ii Allegro iii Adagio iv Vivave

Julius Rontegen - 'Trio for Flute, Oboe and Bassoon' i Allegretto con spirito ii Poco andante, quasi una fantasia iii Allegretto

Bill Douglas - '3 Lyrical Pieces' i Wings of the Wind ii The Hills of Glencar iii Autumn Song


Sounds, Silences and Suggestions, Contakt Ensemble, 7.30 pm, Saturday 18 May, Warwick Square, London

Sounds, Silences and Suggestions

A concert of partly improvised music

7.30 pm on 18 May at St Gabriel’s Church, Warwick Square, London SW1V 2AD

Tickets on the door:  £10 / £7 concessions

Featuring Deborah Edwards (piano), Sally Davies (violin, voice), Kerry Andrews (cello), Derek Foster (piano), Jerry Wigens (clarinet), Assaf Fleischman (piano) and Gordon Edwards (tablas)

Performing music by Cornelius Cardew, Earle Brown, Deborah Edwards, Kerry Andrews and Derek Foster

Three improvisations by Deborah Edwards, Sally Davies, Jerry Wigens, Assaf Fleischmann and Gordon Edwards


Women In Music BBC Proms Survey 2019 - the substantially better figures of last year maintained


For some years Women in Music (UK) has been doing a survey of the numbers of women represented in the BBC PROMS season.  The Proms is the largest classical music festival in the world. This year there are 58 main evening orchestral concerts, as well as chamber music concerts, daytime events and late-night concerts. The audiences in the Royal Albert Hall are of many thousands, and all the concerts are broadcast, many on television.

The figures for women in the 2019 BBC Proms season are:

Composers:                    29/160  (18%)              [Last year was 21/133]

Living composers:         20/59    (33%)             [Last year was 17/43]

BBC Commissions

(or co-commissions):     5/15      (33%)              [Last year was 12/19]

Conductors:                    7/60      (11%)               [Last year was 4/58]

As for last year I have made a new category for the number of living composers whose works are substantial (more than 15 mins) and are featured in main evening concerts. This is because many of the new commissions are for short pieces in chamber concerts or “family” concerts.

Substantial works by living composers: 2/9  (22%)                    [last year was 5/14] (36%)

The women composers are: Lera Auerbach, Grazyna Bacewicz, Sally Beamish, Zosha Di Castri, Sofia Gubaidulina, Fanny Hensel, Hildegard of Bingen, Dorothy Howell, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, Joanna Lee, Mica Levi, Elizabeth Maconchy, Thea Musgrave, Laura Mvula, Carly Paradis, Ailie Robertson, Iris ter Schiphorst, Clara Schumann, Maddelena Laura Sirmen, Alexia Sloane, Linda Catlin Smith, Barbara Strozzi, Dobrinka Tabakova, Outi Tarkiainen, Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Freya Waley-Cohen, Errollyn Wallen, Judith Weir, Stevie Wishart. (and Alissa Firsova,  no details given)

The conductors are: Karina Caneliakis, Elim Chan, Jessica Cottis, Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, Sofi Jeannin, Dalia Stasevska, Nathalie Stutzmann.

To analyse the results:  These figures maintain the substantially better figures of last year. Rather fewer composers but more women conductors (reflecting the fact that there are more women conductors making their mark in the world generally). It seems that the marked improvement of the figures last year is set to continue. The BBC Proms season has always reflected, or been better than, the proportion of women composers and conductors in other concert series around the world. Now we need to look at what is happening elsewhere.

Jenny Fowler

NOTE: To maintain consistency with past years, I take my figures from the BBC booklet, rather than the website, which may be slightly different.

Anyone is welcome to quote these statistics, but please mention the source. The figures for past Proms seasons are also available on the Women in Music (UK) website: http://www.womeninmusic.org.uk/

Natalie Murray Beale conducts 'A Sheen of Dew on Flowers' by Joby Talbot, Britten Sinfonia, 11 April, Barbican

'Celebrating the bi-centenary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s birth, Britten Sinfonia and Independent Opera present the first public performance of Joby Talbot’s new cantata, A Sheen of Dew on Flowers. For this major new commission from Independent Opera, Talbot sets rare and sensual poetry from across several different millennia. A radiant and lyric score, inspired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s devoted partnership, brings to life the story of one of the greatest marriages in history whilst reflecting on the tender themes of love and loss.'




Pre-concert talk with Classic FM’s Anne-Marie Minhall
Anne-Marie Minhall interviews Joby Talbot, Natalie Murray Beale and curator at Historic Royal Palaces Matthew Storey about the music.

Natalie Murray Beale

Tobias Greenhalgh

Kelley O'Connor

Eamonn Dougan 
Britten Sinfonia Voices Director

Germán Clavijo
assistant conductor

New episode from gender equal radio show The Daffodil Perspective

This week on The Daffodil Perspective:

Composer Of The Week – Henriette Renie

Exploring her life and work along with friends Pierne and Grandjany.

Fun With Florence

1st in a new monthly segment celebrating the life, work and legacy of Florence Price. This week featuring a very special recording by Samantha Ege.

Contemporary Corner

This week showcasing brand new song cycle Cracked Voices by Jenni Pinnock.


The Daffodil Perspective 19th March 2019

The radio show championing gender equality is back with a great show featuring Elizabeth Maconchy as composer of the week along with friends Britten and Tippett.

Starting this week Contemporary Corner has a new monthly residency with PARMA Recordings. Each 3rd week of the month showcasing a piece from one of their fantastic single composer releases on the Navona imprint. This week I've got an epic song cycle from Australian composer Margaret Brandman.

Album of the week is a brilliant collection of contemporary trombone music from musician Natalie Mannix, plus music from Bartok, Einaudi and film scores from Rachel Portman and Patrick Doyle.