Women in Music logo
News - Latest News


Welcome to this special edition of our newsletter, to celebrate International Women's Day.  We start with a couple of forthcoming live events:

Women in Improvisation

Women in Music and performers Catherine Pluygers and Alison Blunt have teamed up to put on an event to mark International Women's Day.  The concert will celebrate the huge imput that female musicians have made to the improvised music scene. It will take place on Monday March 15th from 7pm onwards on the H.M.S President, Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y OHJ. Tickets five pounds at the door.  Acts, some solo, some group  include Sylvia Hallett (Solo Violin, Bowed Bicycle Wheel and Electronics), Caroline Kraabel (Alto Sax and Voice), Noura Santion (Violin), Anna Kaluza (Sax), Sonia Paco-Rocchia (Bassoon), Katarzynia Kucknicka (trombone), Alison Blunt (Violin), Catherine Pluygers (oboe), Chefa Alonso (Sax), Babara Meya ('cello) and their male guests!

Catherine PluygersSylvia HallettAlison BluntChefa AlonsoAnna Kaluza

L-R: Catherine Pluygers, Sylvia Hallett, Alison Blunt, Chefia Alonso, Anna Kaluza, Caroline Kraabel


Women In Jazz Week - Ronnie Scott's - 8th -13th March 2010

This year Ronnie Scott's will be recognising International Women's Day with a special week of shows featuring some of the finest female band leaders from around the world.  Artists lined up to perform include Norma Winstone, Nikki Iles and Annie Whitehead from the UK, Rachel Z and Bobbi Humphrey from the US, Emilia Martensson from Sweden and Norway’s Frøy Aagre.


And still on the subject of women in jazz...

The Electric Landladies

The Electric LandladiesThe Electric Landladies played to celebrate jazz club Blow the Fuse’ 21st birthday and the reopening of STOKE NEWINGTON TOWN HALL as part of the opening showcase week on Friday 29 January 2010. 200+ people were unable to get in that night. The Electric Landladies are Sarah Pritchard vocals/perc, Laka Daisical vocals/kbd, Deidre Cartwright gtr, Diane McLoughlin kbd / sax, Alison Rayner bass/voc, Ann Day drums.

A clip from the gig is up on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UgeXiP7-yg


Composer Buddyhood

Thanks to Helen Chadwick and Susie Self for sending this: 

Helen Chadwick

Susie Self

When I attended the last WIM weekend conference which was quite a few years ago there was a brain storming session in which a pazazzy American woman insisted that as composers we needed to support each other and that we should make a "buddy" relationship with another composer in the room. Being a wimp I started to slink away when I felt a hand on my shoulder, it was Helen Chadwick composer/singer and she asked me to be her buddy. I was very excited because I admire Helen's music so much, so of course I said yes! All these years since we have continued our buddyhood, meeting regularly for long walks full of stimulating discussions and sharing warming food. We literally nourish each other in the path of being a composer. It is really valuable to have the support of another woman composer because we don' have that many roles models as yet . Also we have discovered that our creative process as women sometimes take some strange priorities such as needing to get our workspace clean and tidy before composing! I am so gratefull to WIM for inspiring this wonderfull relationship and I would highly recommend Buddyhood to any other composer. Susie Self.

Helen adds: "It was a gut thing to ask Susie, a spur of the moment thing. I was in awe of her and I didn't know her at all. We are from different worlds as Susie is an opera singer and an orchestral composer ( as well as composing for many other configurations) neither of which I know much about. When we meet our main questions to each other are " What are you doing to get your music out into the world?" and "What are you composing?" Sometimes we suggest contacts or opportunities to each other, sometimes we offer ideas, but mainly it is simply an opportunity, within the multi distractions of life, to put our focus back on the core of what we both love to do: sing and compose, to put us back in alignment with that. I have found it immensely valuable. Sometimes we meet in our homes or in a cafe ( food is usually involved!) As it happens we are also both keen walkers, so sometimes we have our meetings in the wild or as we walk along some deserted beach. As individual artists I second Susie in highly recommending finding a buddy. Helen Chadwick

Radio Monalisa

Radio Monalisa is a weekly live broadcast of music by women composers in Amsterdam.
The broadcast on March 8th will include Ethel Smyth's March of the Women and her Concerto for violin, horn and orchestra (1927).
Radio Monalisa can be heard live via the internet (in real time) and on demand.
More information is on the website: http://www.radiomonalisa.nl

Bollywood Brass Band

Kay Charlton writes:

Last year, as a member of the Bollywood Brass Band, I was comissioned by Music for Youth to create a collaborative piece for the Schools Prom at the Royal Albert Hall.

I worked with a youth brass band and a school dhol group and I arranged a medley of 2 Bollywood songs for this ensemble and conducted the piece at the event on 11th November (I was one of only 2 female conductors that night).

I had a fantastic time and also wrote an article about the experience for Music Teacher magazine - just published in the February edition.

There is more on the Bollywood Brass Band website:



Women Composers' achievements

WiM's Competitions and Opportunities Editor, Jenny Fowler, writes:

Kaija Saariaho has won Denmark's Leonie Sonning Music Prize. Worth £70,000 the prize is awarded to "an internationally acknowledged msuician". Saariaho has also recently won Finland's Sibelius Prize.

Jennifer Higdon's Percussion Concerto has won the Gammy Prize for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. The performance was conducted by Marin Alsop.

               Jennifer Higdon

Among young composers chosen for performance at this year's Gaudeamus Music Week, are the composers Ruby Fulton (USA), Lu Wang (China), Dobrinka Tabakova (Bulgaria/UK) and Ann Clear (Ireland).

Jenny Fowler herself won a prize last year: the Sylvia Glickman Memorial Prize ($500, given by Harvey Glickman in memory of his wife and supported by the Hildegard Institute),  Jenny's winning piece was "Towards Release" for string quartet.

Inspiring women

Laure Meloy (Soprano, Voice teacher and Consultant) writes:

In the last six months, I have: sung the soprano solos in a piece written by a female composer for the Canterbury Festival; taught singing lessons to a female composition student; attended a concert in New York of music written and performed by women; met with a woman composer (whose music I have sung and promoted on both sides of the
Atlantic) and discussed commissioning a piece from her; attended the debut recital of a wonderfully warm and gifted young mezzo soprano at Alice Tully Hall (NYC); prepared a role in an opera which will have a female production director; spent time with an old friend from University who has started her own musical theatre concert series...
All these recent experiences energised me as a performer, a teacher, and a producer/promoter, but most of all it reminds me that women, as writers, performers and facilitators of music making, have always been (and always will be) incredibly creative, resilient and inspiring.

And to finish, Caroline Kraabel writes:

Susan Alcorn

        Susan Alcorn

"Recent inspiration in music-making has come from Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar), with whom I played in London last year. Sarah Goldfarb (of performing and pedagogical organisation ReMuA) is doing a great job in Brussels, running workshops for people of all ages and emphasising improvising as a life-skill. Maggie Nicols remains one of my heros in life and in music!"

*                     *                        *                        *

Happy International Women's Day from all of us at Women in Music!