Association of British Orchestras


"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

What is the Sirens fund?

The ABO Trust received a donation of £200,000 in 2016 from Diana Ambache to support the costs of the Sirens fund, to encourage the programming of works by historical women composers for a 10 year period.

Annual grants are allocated according to the range and value of each project. Each year 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 Women of Note as a resource, which lists orchestral music by historical women composers. The Sirens catalogue has been updated in 2022 to include a more diverse range of historical females composers. 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.

We reserve the right not to award all the available funds (£19,000) each year.

Please see the below ABO Sirens 2022 Information brochure for further information. The application form can be found at the bottom of this page, as well as the press release detailing 2022 funding recipients.

📅 2023 Performance dates

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: 'The Bishop Rock' Overture by Doreen Carwithen, Cadogan Hall, London - 27 September 2023

Royal College of Music: 'Psalm 130 Du fond de l’abîme' by Lili Boulanger, London - 26 & 27 October 2023

Academy of Ancient Music: (1) Licenza from Sofonisba; Rapido turbin vedo from Sofonisba and (2) Berenice, che fai; Concerto for Keyboard in A major by (1) Maria Teresa Agnesi and (2) Marianna Martinez, Cambridge - 22 November 2023 and London - 23 November 2023

London Philharmonic Orchestra: Violin Concerto No. 2 by Florence Price, Royal Festival Hall, London - 29 November 2023

City of London Sinfonia: 'Nonet in E flat Op 38' by Louise Farrenc, London - 5 December 2023

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra: 'A Sea Poem' by Ina Boyle, Poole - 7 February 2024; Exeter - 8 February 2024

Ulster Orchestra: 'Sussex Landscape' by Avril Coleridge-Taylor, Belfast - 9 February 2024 and part of a regional tour 31 January to 2 February 2024

Royal Northern Sinfonia: 'Piano Concerto in A minor' by Clara Schumann, Sunderland - 15 February 2024, Sage Gateshead - 16 February 2024; and Kendal - 17 February 2024

Royal Scottish National Orchestra: Trois Femmes de légende (Salomé, Ophélie, Le Rêve de Cléopâtre) by Mel Bonis, Perth - 7 March 2024, Edinburgh - 8 March 2024 and Glasgow - 9 March 2024

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: 'Song for Orchestra op 33' by Ruth Gipps, Liverpool - 11 April 2024, and Kendal - 13 April 2024.

Related information

ABO Sirens Application Form 2023-24

ABO Sirens 2022 press release

Women of Note orchestral catalogue

Annual Conference

The next ABO conference will take place in Bristol,
hosted by Bristol Beacon, from 24-26 January 2024.