Catalogue Orchestral Music By Historical Women Composers
Sirens ABO Application Form 2021-22
"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"
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. These will be selected by a panel agreed between the ABO and Diana Ambache. Orchestras are encouraged to use the Women of Note http://www.womenofnote.co.uk/repertoire.htm website as a resource, which lists orchestral music by historical women composers. The downloadable document can be accessed here: www.womenofnote.co.uk/ABO_Sirens.pdf. Please note that this is not an exclusive list and please let us know if you have works which you have discovered which you suggest should be added. Diana Ambache is also available to talk about the works, please contact the ABO for further information.
The BIG LIST of Women Composers is an ever-expanding list featuring more than 5,000 women composers from pre-medieval composers to 21 century-singer-songwriters. The list is searchable for orchestral music but does not provide orchestrations.
When assessing applications to this fund, we will be considering the potential short and long term impact of the applicant’s approach to programming the piece. This will include demonstrating:
We reserve the right not to award all the available funds (£19,000) each year.
We will consider every application on a case-by-case basis. We are inviting orchestras to propose why they have selected the piece; what makes it a distinctive work and how they will programme it in their tour or season, ensuring engagement with a large audience. The panel is unlikely to award a project where the work is less than 10% the length of the concert. The more reach, including broadcasting, the more likely the panel will award a grant. Orchestras can apply for funding to help cover the following:
The Hallé – ‘Ethiopia’s Shadow in America’ by Florence Price
Tantalising mystery surrounds the Hallé and Florence Price, the first African-American woman to gain recognition as a symphonic composer. In 1951, Sir John Barbirolli commissioned her to write for the Orchestra, but no evidence of any finished piece survives. 70 years later, The Hallé will perform Ethiopia’s Shadow in America, which combines melodies of pure beauty with an evocative musical language drawn from the spirituals of African-American slaves. The third movement of this work will be featured in Hallé for Youth in March 2022 and will also form part of the schools’ project that accompanies each concert, in which children will create their own musical responses to the piece, and choreograph in dance workshops led by Northern Ballet.
Performances: Performed as part of three ‘Opus One’ concerts on 13, 14 and 17 October 2021 at the Bridgewater Hall as well on tour to Sheffield City Hall on the evening of 15 October.
Nevis Ensemble – ‘Sea Sketches’ by Grace Williams
Sea Sketches, by Grace Williams is a five-movement work for string orchestra depicting different moods of the sea, possibly reflecting on memories of Williams’ hometown of Barry in south Wales, where she returned to live soon after. As Williams herself said: ‘I don’t want to stay in London - I just long to get home and live in comfort by the sea.’ Nevis Ensemble’s performances of Sea Sketches will take this water-inspired music around the islands of the Inner Hebrides, to schools, community spaces, social care and health care settings as part of an extensive tour of free participatory performances.
Performances: Public and social venues around the islands of Iona, Mull, Rùm, Eigg and Skye 13 – 19 June 2022.
Royal College of Music – ‘Zodiac Suite’ by Mary Lou Williams arranged by Laura Jurd
Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981) is often described as the first female jazz composer. A musical prodigy, she played piano with Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington. Written in 1945, Zodiac Suite is a 12-piece work with each movement representing a zodiac sign and dedicated to musicians Williams performed with. In addition, the concerts for schools on 12 October 2021 will be based around a theme that stems from the Zodiac Suite.
Performances: Wednesday 13 October 2021, 19.30 Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music
RCM Jazz Orchestra directed by Mark Armstrong with guest soloist Zoe Rahman. This performance will also be streamed live and available online. The schools’ concerts are on Tuesday 12 October 11:30 and 13:15, also in the Britten Theatre.
Royal Scottish National Orchestra – ‘Divertimento for Strings’ by Grażyna Bacewicz
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s performances of Grażyna Bacewicz’s Divertimento for Strings on 4 March (Usher Hall, Edinburgh), and 5 March 2022 (Glasgow Royal Concert Hall) will mark the Scottish premieres of this piece. Conducted by Elim Chan and introduced by Lena Zeliszewska, RSNO Associate Leader, now available to watch online here. RSNO have also published a blog looking at the works of historical and contemporary women composers supported this season by the ABO Sirens Trust and the Ambache Trust.
National Orchestra for All (NOFA) – ‘Andromède’ by Augusta Holmès
The Augusta Holmès composition Andromède forms part of a series of pieces that National Orchestra for All will be rehearsing throughout its residential activity and online courses in 2022 and will be performed at the end of each course, including at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and University of Warwick.
Performances: Online sessions: 5-6 March 2022, online via Zoom; Spring course: 11-14 April 2022, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; Summer course: 26-29 July 2022, University of Warwick.
Ulster Orchestra - La Nuit et L’amour (Night and Love) by Augusta Holmès
The Ulster Orchestra is delighted to be performing La Nuit et L’amour by the French-Irish composer Augusta Holmès. Holmès flouted the conventions of the late 19th century to not just write music, but write music that was intense, powerful and political – her boldness deserves this celebration of her work.
Performance: Tuesday 25 March 2022, live in Belfast. Separate digital recording (audio/visual) available as online resource after the live performance.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Grace Williams ‘Penillion’, Cadogan Hall, London – 12 April 2022 (rescheduled from 10 June 2021)
Royal Northern Sinfonia: Bränningar (Op. 19) by Helen Munktell, Sage Gateshead – 11 June 2022.
Nevis Ensemble: ‘Sea Sketches’ by Grace Williams, public and social venues around the islands of Iona, Mull, Rùm, Eigg and Skye - 13 – 19 June 2022.
National Orchestra for All (NOFA):
‘Andromède’ by Augusta Holmès, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and University of Warwick Online sessions: 5-6 March 2022; Spring course: 11-14 April 2022, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; Summer course: 26-29 July 2022, University of Warwick.
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: ‘D’un soir triste’ and ‘D’un matin de printemps’ by Nadia Boulanger, Cadogan Hall, London – 5 April 2023
Royal Scottish National Orchestra: ‘Divertimento for Strings’ by Grażyna Bacewicz, Caird Hall, Dundee, 4 March 2022; Usher Hall, Edinburgh; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 5 March.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: Amy Beach Symphony No. 2 ‘Gaelic’, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall - 24 March 2022
Manchester Camerata: Overture to Erwin and Elmire by Anna Amalia von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, The Stoller Hall, Manchester - 25 March 2022
Ulster Orchestra: ‘La Nuit et L’amour’ by Augusta Holmès, Belfast - Tuesday 25 March 2022.
Royal College of Music: ‘Zodiac Suite’ by Mary Lou Williams arranged by Laura Jurd, Britten Theatre, Royal College of Music, London, schools’ concerts Tuesday 12 October 11:30 and 13:15, and Wednesday 13 October 2021.
The Hallé: ‘Ethiopia’s Shadow in America’ by Florence Price - 13, 14 and 17 October 2021 at the Bridgewater Hall; 15 Oct at Sheffield City Hall.
Southbank Sinfonia: Grace Williams ‘Sea Sketches’, St John’s Smith Square – 29 September 2021
Aurora Orchestra: Louise Farrenc’s Symphony no. 3 in G minor, as part of ‘Venus Unwrapped’ series, King’s Place, London - 14 December 2019
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance: Grace Williams’ Symphony no. 2 as part of the ‘Venus Blazing’ series - 12 December 2019
Philharmonia Orchestra: Lili Boulanger ‘D’un soir triste’, Bedford Corn Exchange – 12th November, Royal Festival Hall, London – 14 November 2019
Southbank Sinfonia: Dorothy Howell, ‘The Rock Overture’, ‘Divertissements’, ‘Humoresque’, ‘Koong Shee Ballet’, St. John’s Waterloo, London - 19 September 2019
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra: Dorothy Howell ‘Lamia’, Symphony Hall, Birmingham - 21 August 2019
Philharmonia Orchestra: Maria Antonia Walpurgis’ ‘Sinfonia to Talestri, Queen of the Amazon’ as part of ‘Orchestra Unwrapped’. November 2018 - Spring 2019 – Basingstoke, Canterbury, London, Leicester and Bedford
English Symphony Orchestra: Vítězslava Kaprálová ‘Partita for Piano and Strings’, Shirehall, Hereford – 3 March, and Kings Place, London - 28 April 2019
Chineke! Orchestra: Avril Coleridge-Taylor ‘Sussex Landscape Op 27’, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London - 22 April 2019
Academy of Ancient Music: Marianna Martinez and Maria Grimaldi, Cambridge, London and Eindhoven, March/April 2019
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic: Germaine Tailleferre and Cecile Chaminade, Liverpool and Preston - 28 February, 1 March and 3 March 2019
Southbank Sinfonia: Dorothy Howell workshop, St John’s Waterloo, London – 2 July 2018
Dates are subject to change, please check the organisations’ websites for up to date information
For further information: Please contact Fiona Harvey, Education and Youth Ensembles Consultant, ABO: email@example.com.
Catalogue Orchestral Music By Historical Women Composers
Sirens ABO Application Form 2021-22