Frequently ignorance is the main issue around music by women. The essential thing is for people to hear their works. When these lovely pieces are heard, there is no more reason for omitting them. Roll on inclusion...” Diana Ambache

The ABO Trust received a generous gift from Diana Ambache in 2016 to run a ten year fund, Sirens, which aims to raise awareness and appreciation of the music written by historical women from around the world.

Annual grants will be allocated according to the range and value of each project. Each year over 10 years up to £19,000 will be shared between 4 to 5 projects for concerts, tours, recordings and education work deemed to be doing most to advance and promote the understanding of music by women. Orchestras are encouraged to use The Women of Note website as a resource, which lists orchestral music by historical women composers.

To date the scheme has supported performances of works by Germain Tailleferre, Cécile Chaminade, Dorothy Howell, Maria Antonia Walpurgis, Grace Williams, Lili Boulanger, Maria Grimani, Marianna Martinez and Louise Farrenc. See below for performance dates.


Philharmonia Orchestra: Maria Antonia Walurgis’ ‘Sinfonia to Talestri, Queen of the Amazon’ as part of their flagship Key Stage 2 concert and engagement project, ‘Orchestra Unwrapped’. November 2018 – Leicester and Bedford; Spring 2019 – Basingstoke, Canterbury and Leicester

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic: Germaine Tailleferre and Cecile Chaminade, Liverpool and Preston, 28 February, 1 March and 3 March 2019

Southbank Sinfonia: Dorothy Howell, London, Spring 2019

Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance: Grace Williams’ Symphony no. 2 as part of the ‘Venus Blazing’ series - 12 December 2019

Aurora Orchestra: Louise Farrenc’s Symphony no. 3 in G minor, as part of ‘Venus Unrwapped’ series 14 December 2019

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Lili Boulanger ‘D’un matin de printemps’, London, 27 February 2020

Academy of Ancient Music: Marianna Martinez, Bury St Edmunds, London and Cambridge, 18, 19 and 20 November 2019; Maria Grimaldi, London and Cambridge, October 2020;


Dates are subject to change, please check the organisations’ websites for up to date information

Applications for the 2019 funding round will open in Autumn 2018. Please contact Fiona Harvey, Education and Youth Ensembles Consultant, ABO for further information: