Female composers forced to think small

On the eve of a new premiere, a leading female composer has spoken out about the disadvantages still faced by women in classical music.

Harpist Will Nichols runs through his solo part in Olive Pink’s Garden with Professor Anne Boyd AM. Image supplied.

Respected Australian composer Anne Boyd AM, the first first female Professor of Music at the University of Sydney, has spoken out about entrenched gender bias in the classical music sector on the eve of a major new composition’s world premiere.

Boyd’s new orchestral work, Olive Pink’s Garden, premieres at Sydney’s Conservatorium of Music this Friday night and marks a rare opportunity for a female composer in a sector dominated by men.

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts