YolanDa Brown awarded Women Make Music award by the PRS for Music Foundation

Where are the women in music? – PRS for Music Foundation announces the first 13 recipients of Women Make Music – a unique funding opportunity raising the profile of female music creators across the UK.

In 2010, women made up only 14% of the writer membership of PRS for Music (the Performing Rights Society of composers, songwriters and music publishers) and, at the 2010 BBC Proms, women wrote just 4.1% of the music performed.

In response to these statistics which prove that women are still under represented publicly when it comes to making music, PRS for Music Foundation launched Women Make Music – a funding opportunity aimed exclusively at women who are making outstanding music in the UK. With this fund, PRS for Music Foundation is highlighting the gender gap in the music industry and encouraging exciting collaborations between organisations and creators who have not previously worked together.

Today (August 12 2011) PRS for Music Foundation announce the 13 women supported through the first round of Women Make Music. The strong and imaginative new music they are creating ranges from a song cycle based on Portuguese poetry, a new piece of music for ten choirs and a composition for outdoor circus performances, to an electroacoustic composition for theatre, a month-long musical installation compromising of weekly performances and the design of a new synthesiser. The new music funded through Women Make Music will receive premieres in locations across the UK including Glasgow, Jersey, London, Newcastle and Sheffield, and some will tour as far afield as the USA, Middle East and Europe.

Launched on International Women’s Day 2011, Women Make Music saw an overwhelming number of women apply for the first round of funding – an exciting response and a positive sign says Chair of PRS for Music Foundation, Sally Taylor: ‘We’re delighted that so many women came forward for our support and that, through this fund, we have reached a large number of talented music creators who have never applied to the Foundation before. The quality of the applications we received was very high and the breadth and imagination of the 13 successful projects proves that throughout the UK, women are making great music. By raising their profile, we hope that more women will develop the confidence to make a career of writing music and that this kind of fund won’t be needed in the future.’

Prominent female musicians and writers have supported the Foundation’s call for more female music creators, including Imogen Heap, who said: ‘I know they’re out there [female music creators]. I’ve met and heard of a few,but would love to know more and hear more as we’re only hearing one side of the story.’
Encouraging new and adventurous music and collaborations, the second round of recipients of funding through Women Make Music will be announced in October.

The music creators and commissioning organisations

YolanDa Brown (pictured), Blue Sky.
Premiere: 2 December 2011 at London’s Jazz Café.

Charlotte Bray commissioned by Oxford Lieder Festival.
Premiere: 27  October 2011 at Oxford Lieder Festival

Tara BuschArtificial Intelligence: A Science Fiction Symphony – commissioned by Sensoria
Premiere: (tbc) 22 April 2012, Sheffield.

Helen Chadwick, Karen Wimhurst, Sinead Jones, Katherine Zeserson, A Candle – Song Cycle for Choir and Trio – commissioned by Big Sky.
Premiere: (tbc) 22 October 2011

Deborah Coughlin
Premiere: (tbc) March 2012

Jessica DannheisserThe Tempest – commissioned by Jericho House Productions.
UK Premiere: 23 September 2011 (previews 21 and 22 September) at Barbican, London

Bela EmersonFalling Up – commissioned by Mimbre
Premiere: (tbc) April 2012

Shiva Feshareki commissioned by Piano Circus.
Premiere: 11 November 2011 at Tramway Theatre, Glasgow, 8pm

Bridget HaydenStrong Horses
Premiere: (tbc) 2nd March 2012

Emily PortmanHatchling
Premiere: 28th November 2011 at The Sage Gateshead

Serafina Steer and Sam SteerThis Side of the Moon – commissioned by Branchage Film Festival.
Premiere: 23rd September 2011 at the Branchage Film Festival

Susan StengerFull Circle – commissioned by Audio Visual Arts North East
Premiere: 2nd March 2012

Jennifer Walshe commissioned by Third Ear Music
Premiere: February 2012, London Fashion Week.

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