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Forgotten female composers celebrated in a special IWD 2018 Concert

Date: 08/03/2018


This International Women’s Day (IWD), the music of five women composers who have been forgotten throughout history, will be revived, thanks to a joint initiative between the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and BBC Radio 3.

The works of the following five composers will be premiered for the first time:

  • Leokadiya Kashperova (1872—1940), a Russian pedagogue and pianist who taught Stravinsky
  • Marianna Martines (1744—1813), an Austrian who enjoyed fame throughout Europe in her lifetime
  • Florence B Price (1887—1953), an esteemed African American symphonist
  • Augusta Holmès (1847—1903), a French-Irish writer of largescale oratorios and operas
  • Johanna Müller-Hermann (1868—1941), an Austrian whose works range from chamber music to orchestral tone-poems and oratorios

These previously unrecorded works will be performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra at a special concert on Thursday 8th March at LSO St Luke’s.

These five female composers, many of whom were both extremely influential and innovative at the time, have been forgotten - largely due to their gender. Tonight’s concert will help to rectify a part of this imbalance, while giving today’s audience the opportunity to listen to music that they’ve never previously had access to.

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The International Women’s Day concert (7.30pm – 9.30pm) will be broadcast live by BBC Radio 3 and available for 30 days after broadcast via the BBC iPlayer Radio app.

You can find out more about the intriguing lives and stories of these forgotten female composers as well as all information about this evening’s performances, which has been administered by BBC Wales, via the concert programme.

This time last year, BBC Radio 3 and AHRC marked International Women’s Day by announcing the names of the five historic female composers, who had been successfully put forwards by five academics.

Each academic has spent the past year researching the music of their chosen composer and have been instrumental in pulling together the pieces for the IWD Concert. In some instances they have had to create orchestral parts from an original manuscript.

You can listen to some of the interviews with the academics on a playlist on our YouTube channel.

About AHRC

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: history, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, languages, design, heritage, area studies, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98 million to fund research and postgraduate training, in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits and contributes to the economic success of the UK but also to the culture and welfare of societies around the globe.

Visit us at:, on Twitter at @ahrcpress, on Facebook at Arts and Humanities Research Council, or Instagram at @ahrcpress.


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