Today is the centenary of women being granted the vote in Britain. This significant anniversary will be marked by Notes for Women, a year-long celebration of music by women composers by the Bristol Ensemble, Bristol’s professional orchestra.
Although there have been plenty of women composers throughout history, they and their works are little known, despite often being at least as good as those of their more famous male counterparts. One reason for this is related to the historical role and status of women, the same issue that deprived them of the right to vote. Following the first World War, and the 1918 Representation of the People Act, there has been a slow shift in the direction of equality, although female composers are still in the minority today.
Throughout 2018 the Bristol Ensemble will celebrate the lives and works of women composers, with the aims of
- presenting top quality musical works by women composers in order to excite and engage audiences unfamiliar with the quality and range of this repertoire;
- educating: by telling these women’s stories, and drawing parallels with the wider movements for women’s suffrage;
- encouraging and inspiring future musicians, by showcasing contemporary music by women composers, and giving them opportunities to compose for themselves; and
- leaving a legacy of greater interest and awareness of music by women composers among local audiences and performers, plus some resources to facilitate the continued performance of this repertoire.
At the heart of the year’s celebration is a series of three concerts and a lecture at St George’s Bristol, beginning with music by Hildegard of Bingen and music by Baroque and Renaissance composers in April’s ‘Early Years’ concert, and ending with a new commission and film music by women composers in the final concert in November.
The Ensemble will also programme music by female composers in its other concerts in the Henleaze Concert Society series and its chamber series in Nailsworth throughout the year.
For more details, visit Notes For Women