Tuesday, 7 March 2017

International Women's Day - 8 March 2017

International Women's Day
A number of musical organisations are marking International Women's Day this year (8 March 2017). BBC Radio 3 is being taken over by women composers who will be guest editing and curating programmes, and there is a new work from composer Kate Whitley setting extracts from a speech by Malala Yousafzai. Amongst the people being interviewed on BBC Radio 3's In Tune will be a student from Birmingham Conservatoire talking about a compsition project she has been involved in. And Sound and Music is committing itself to positive action to showcase the work of women composers.

The Royal College of Music has a series of events under the banner Women in Music. There will be a masterclass with RCM alumna Sofya Gulyak, former winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition, who will be working with RCM pianists. A lunchtime concert (to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3) will feature a major discovery of a work by Fanny Mendelssohn, her Easter Sonata (formerly identified as by Fanny's brother Felix), which will be played by Sofya Gulyak. And an evening concert celebrates the work of women composers including three current RCM composers, Lucy Snowdon, Joo Yeon Sir, and Maeve McCarthy, plus the UK premiere of Germaine Tailleferre's Concerto for Two Guitars

Over at Sound and Music, the national charity for new music, they are taking positive action to commit to 50% of the composers the charity works with will be women, by 2020. Throughout the next week the charity will be giving a platform to women composers, so look out for the hashtags #SoundAndWomen and #5050by2020. (You can read more about the initiative in Susanna Eastburn's article in The Guardian).

And from Birmingham Conservatoire, second year student Rosie Tunley will be interviewed on BBC Radio 3's In Tune alongside composer Hannah Kendall to talk about the composition project they have been involved in the celebrate International Women's Day. The project involved twelve young female composers collaborating to create a piece of music to celebrate this annual occasion.

Elsewhere in BBC Radio 3, six women composers are guest-editing and curating programmes across the day's schedule, with Alissa Firsova taking over Breakfast, Sally Beamish at the reins for Essential Classics, Tansy Davies in charge of Afternoon On 3, Errollyn Wallen curating In Tune, Annette Peacock in the studio for Late Junction, and Kerry Andrew sharing her own Late Junction Mixtape. Choral Evensong will come from Truro Cathedral on 8 March, with the first live broadcast from the cathedral’s recently formed girl choristers, performing the world premieres of newly commissioned pieces by Sasha Johnson Manning and Dobrinka Tabakova, among other works.

A new piece by Kate Whitley uses extracts from Malala Yousafzai’s 2013 UN speech, and it will be premiered by BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales with Cor y Cwm (Youth Choir Of The Year) at BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, led by Principal Guest Conductor Xian Zhang. The work will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the evening of March 8. Other Radio 3 programming on the day includes a special edition of Composer Of The Week exploring the music composed by, performed by and written for women in 16th century Ferrara, and an Open Ear concert recorded at St John-at-Hackney featuring contemporary works by Joanna Bailie, Carola Bauckholt, Arlene Sierra and Kaffe Matthews.

Full details of BBC Radio 3's programming from their website.

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