Remembering Jane Manning OBE (1938-2021)

Women in Music were very sorry to hear of the passing of one of our founder members, Jane Manning, last month. We are very grateful to the composer and WiM founder Nicola LeFanu and the Ivors' Academy for allowing us to share this lovely tribute to Jane on our blog.

Jane Manning was a soprano who put her artistry at the service of the living composer: she was a key figure in new music in Britain for nearly sixty years. Her wonderful voice and superb musicianship – perfect pitch and accurate rhythm – made her the most sought-after singer for all of us in contemporary ‘classical‘ music. She gave hundreds of concert and radio premieres, many being works specially commissioned for her, as well as championing 20th century classics:  Schonberg and Webern, Dallapiccola and Messaien.

She worked with everyone – famous elderly composers or unknown young ones – and the ease with which she tackled a huge range of repertoire was amazing. Her voice was technically secure, due no doubt to her training in traditional bel canto with Husler and Rodd-Marling. She exploded the myth that singing new music could damage the voice, inspiring a new generation of young singers.

Jane travelled all over the world, touring in Australasia as well as Europe. In 1987-8 she was a Visiting Professor at the University of York. Out of that time came ‘Jane’s Minstrels’, the chamber ensemble she and her husband, the composer Anthony Payne, set up in 1988. Established in London, which was always her base, it drew in many of the gifted young players she had worked with in York.

As well as a marvellous legacy of recordings, she has left an invaluable legacy of books on 20th and 21st century vocal music, including her research into Pierrot Lunaire, of which she was a consummate performer.

Jane was very important to me and my family: she made premiere recordings of Maconchy, Lumsdaine and myself, and in 1977 created the lead in my first opera, Dawnpath; indeed, one of my very first commissions, in 1971, was to write her a solo scena, But Stars Remaining, which true to form she kept in her repertoire. I shall miss her very much, as will my composer colleagues; we owed her so much, and her passing marks the end of an era.

Nicola LeFanu

April 2021

We are also grateful to the composer Margaret Lucy Wilkins for sending us her memories of Jane.

So sad to hear of the death of Jane Manning. She was a great pioneer of contemporary singing, and a champion of living composers. Her gift of ‘perfect pitch’ made it possible for her to render the most challenging vocal line as sounding effortless.

It was my great fortune that Jane gave the first performance and broadcast of my work, Struwwelpeter. Written for Jane and The Matrix, with whom she gave countless recitals, it was recorded at the Freemason’s Hall, Edinburgh, in 1974, and subsequently broadcast in a BBC 3 ‘Composer’s Portrait’ programme in 1975.

The Matrix ensemble consisted of 3 clarinets, piano and percussion, together with Jane Manning, soprano. The other members of the group were Alan Hacker, Francis Christou, Tony Coe (Clarinets), Carl Davis (piano) and Tristan Fry (percussion).

Jane and The Matrix toured nationally and internationally, giving many concerts and broadcasts of contemporary music, and increasing the audiences with the virtuosity of their performances.

Our thoughts are now with Jane’s husband, Anthony Payne.

Margaret Lucy Wilkins

The Daffodil Perspective re-launch

The Daffodil Perspective re-launches with a fabulous brand new website.  The classical music radio show creating space for EVERYONE to belong is bigger and better than ever. Tons of information on diverse composers, past shows and articles, all easily accessible. Plus if you're looking for information on female composers and need some assistance, the Daffodil Perspective offers diverse repertoire consultancy services. Have a look and discover a rabbit hole of incredible music by women.

Temi Adeniji appointed MD of Warner Music South Africa

Temi Adeniji appointed MD of Warner Music South Africa and SVP of strategy for Sub-Saharan Africa

Check the Music Week article here - some salient points are below. It is interesting that she succeeds another woman in her main posting. Temi Andeniji is originally from Nigeria and has USA degrees in Political Science and Law and a UK Masters in Law and worked in the legal area for several years before building her career with Warner Music which she joined in a senior position in 2016.

Temi Adeniji has been appointed to the combined role of MD of Warner Music South Africa and SVP, strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa.  

Adeniji will assume this position in September, reporting to     Alfonso Perez-Soto EVP Eastern Europe, Middle East, India and Africa.  In addition, as SVP of special projects, she’ll work closely with  Simon Robson, President international recorded music, on a number of international projects.

Adeniji will succeed Tracy Fraser as MD of Warner Music South Africa. Fraser has led the affiliate since its founding in 2013, and developed a successful and diverse roster of local artists, increasing the company’s market share, revenue and profits.  She will work alongside Adeniji over the next few months to support her transition.

Temi Adeniji said: “The world is waking up to the rich and diverse talent present in myriad thriving music scenes across the continent. As this increasingly interconnected digital world continues to remove barriers to music discovery, there is no doubt that in the years ahead we will continue to see even more global superstars from Africa.

“Africa stands on the precipice of a significant growth story, and I’m excited to play an important part in guiding our Company’s strategy and operations in this region. I have worked closely with our South African team over the past few years, so the opportunity to help steer the next stage of their journey is an honor and privilege.” 

#warnermusic #southafrica #womeninmusic 

WOMEN in PIRATE RADIO PANEL ON ZOOM March 15th Chaired by WiM Chair!

Join WiM Chair Debbie Golt and former Pirate (Alternative Community) Radio DJs Angie Dee and DJ Carmilla - Carmella Obinyan on the Women in Pirate Radio zoom panel today - with a chance to ask questions as well. Between them Angie and Carmella played on DBC, LWR, TKO and several other stations. Debbie will chair and has a long track record in community radio broadcasting as well and it will be an informed and entertaining event.

The booking link is below - hurry - for the event which takes place between 6-7pm today via the Royal Greenwich Museums - Maritime Museum.  Distinguished Black Feminist Chardine Taylor-Stone will moderate the Q&A as well.

Pirate radio stations in the UK began as 'offshore' broadcasters, the most famous being Radio Caroline. They provided an alternative to mainstream radio and started the careers of many who went on to become legendary radio DJs. The rebel pirate spirit that began at sea later came inland, and this talks features women who were central to the Pirate radio scene of the 1980s and 90s.

Speakers :

  • Chair:  DJ Debbie Golt, Radio host and Broadcaster Resonance FM 
  • Guests: Angie Dee and Carmella Obinyan


Connected skies - solo series challenge - Angela Elizabeth Slater - Digital performance Thursday 21st January 2021 7.30pm

Composer Angela Elizabeth Slater has collaborated with double bass player Maggie Cox to write new pieces for the instrument. The fruits of this collaboration can be heard in a Digital pre-concert talk and concert on Thursday 21st January 2021 at 7.30pm (UK time).

Angela writes 'Connected skies: solo series challenge is a project to challenge myself to compose six new solo works of about ten mins each in length between October 2020 to May 2021, with each being digitally performed in a monthly virtual event from 2021.

​New works for double bass, cello, flute with glissando head joint, accordion, percussion and mezzo soprano will be  written. In addition to digital concerts, this project will include blogs, digital pre-concert talks and interactive Q&A sessions, giving us a chance to share our process in this continuing challenging and strange times.'

You can find out more about this project including a link to the first live digital performance here

This project is supported by Arts Council England.

The F-List CIC, a not-for-profit that supports female musicians, launched today by inaugural president Anoushka Shankar

Women in Music is delighted to share news of the launch of the F-List CIC. This wonderful resource will make a difference for female musicians. Things are changing and there is a lot to celebrate. Huge credit to Vick Bain who got this project off the ground.

Here is the F-List's press release today:

Anoushka Shankar announced as inaugural president of The F-List CIC, a not-for-profit that supports female musicians 

Genre-defying and award-winning artist Anoushka Shankar is announced as the inaugural president of The F-List CIC.  The-not-for-profit enterprise launches Monday 23rd November to support the work of The F-List website the first directory of its kind to feature female musicians, songwriters, composers, and bands, all in one place. As the music industry anticipates re-opening next year, there has never been a better opportunity for festival promoters and commissioners to find or hire female talent and ensure we create a more equal industry after covid19.

Anoushka Shankar says:

“I am delighted to represent this fantastically talented and committed community, who are passionate about creating opportunities for the great wealth of female talent that exists in the UK. The F-List is the first initiative of its kind to give female artists and musicians a platform where they can be discovered. Its breath-taking thoroughness and scope nullifies any excuses from people in the music industry who blame a lack of representation and diversity by saying there’s a dearth of women to hire. But it’s also a supportive network that can transform the music industry into a place that better represents, and reflects, the richness and diversity in British society.” 

The F-List is a comprehensive resource that contains the latest information on over 4,500 musicians, 1,000 bands and 300 labels and publishers with women on their rosters, across all musical genres.  Any musician, songwriter or composer can join if they are female*. UK record labels and publishers can also apply if they have female artists on their rosters.  The F-List, originally published in February this year as a simple Google spreadsheet, has been upgraded to a fully functional and searchable website that makes it even easier for promoters and commissioners to find female talent.

The F-List is the brainchild of equality and diversity campaigner Vick Bain. While researching the careers of women in the music industry for her PhD, she uncovered these startling statistics.

14% of UK writers and composers signed to publishers and just 20% of artists signed to record labels are female.

These low figures are reflected in most UK festivals and events. In 2017, 84% of festival acts were entirely male, 10.5% were mixed bands and only 5.5% were solo/all-female (BBC, 2017).  When festival bookers responded with: ‘we don’t know where to find female acts’, Bain saw a solution. She began compiling The F-List – an all-female roster of musicians and bands that she had discovered through her research.

But The F-List is more than a directory.  After Bain published the list, she received a groundswell of support for her venture from female artists in the industry. Since then, it’s grown into a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) that’s committed to challenging a number of barriers that prevent women from progressing and thriving in the music industry – from the gender pay gap to sexism and harassment, and the motherhood penalty.

The F-List CIC is developing a range of initiatives to dismantle these structural inequalities and ensure that a 50/50 gender split becomes the norm across every festival and event in the UK.  British Asian musician Bishi, Music Week rising star Alex Ampofo and Keychange founder Jess Partridge are among the 13 directors on The F-List’s CIC board.  The F-List CIC is also proud to announce partnerships with Independent Venue Week and Scottish Women Inventing Music.

Sybil Bell Founder of Independent Venue Weeks says:

“The F-List encompasses everything we need to move towards making a lack of female representation a thing of the past. Independent Venue Week is so proud to be a partner of this brilliant initiative. We look forward to working closely with Vick, and her team, as we develop programs to ensure greater gender balance and more equitable representation across the industry.”

Hilary Brooks the Chair of SWiM comments:

Scottish Women Inventing Music (SWIM) is proud to be a partner of game-changing initiative The F-List. We are very excited about working together on what will surely be a fundamental tool for those in the music industries. The F-List will be a directory which will prove invaluable on a macrocosmic scale when it comes to providing opportunity and growth.”

Further partnerships and projects will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Vick Bain adds:

“I wanted to create a nationwide network that represents the interests of all female artists and musicians in the UK, and spearheads projects and initiatives that match their ambition. I am thrilled to be working with so many talented and experienced women, who are committed to creating the lasting changes that are so desperately needed in the music industry. With their collective passion and energy, I believe we can empower more female artists to successfully start and sustain their careers in music.”  

*The F-List is proud to be trans and gender minority inclusive

For more info or to request an interview please contact [email protected]  


WiM Chair Debbie Golt interviewed

Women in Music Chair, Debbie Golt is a dynamic arts consultant with many years successful engagement with the music world and she has toured and written about many great women artists. Currently she broadcasts The Outerglobe weekly on Resonance FM - 104.4fm/DAB London at 6.30pm GMT on Thursdays Repeat Mondays 4am mixcloud and Outerglobe Abroad Lunar Monthly (every 4 weeks) on Thursdays 10am-12pm GMT - see for archive. Find out something about Debbie Golt by listening to an edition of 'Drop Da Biscuit' interviewed by Michael Fuller

"In this new episode of Drop Da Biscuit I’m joined by DJ Debbie Golt (Sisters of Reggae), whose journey encompasses Rock Against Racism, political activism, linking with Fela, promoting top African musicians, writing, DJing, broadcasting and being part of a number of progressive music business initiatives. Check it out.

#dropdabiscuit, #djdebbie, #sistersofreggae, #outerglobe, #resonancefm, #mbokafestival, #womex, #podcast,"