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Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Radio 3 to record ‘lost’ female composers

11:05, 5th December 2016

Radio 3 is to collaborate with the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) in a bid to uncover and record lost works by female composers.

Presented in partnership with BBC Wales and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the project is part of the station’s efforts to increase the diversity of its programming, and follows two female composers focusses for International Women’s Day and a recent industry-wide conference on BAME diversity in composition.

Radio 3 will select the best works by forgotten female composers and commit to performing their music in concerts. The station will record their works and integrate them into its daily schedule.

The works of neglected women composers will be the focus of a seminar held in London on 25 January, where academics studying in this area will offer insights on this repertoire.

Edwina Wolstencroft, editor of Radio 3’s Women’s Day programming, said that the station had uncovered composers ‘it was not possible to feature because the performances or recordings to play to our listeners just didn’t exist’.

She continued: ‘Research shows there are some 6,000 overlooked female composers from the past and most people can only name a handful of composing women, if that.’

Radio 3 controller Alan Davey said that Radio 3 was ‘uniquely placed to make a difference to this issue and to the landscape of classical music through recovering high quality works that have been unfairly forgotten through history’, adding: ‘We hope to make this an ongoing commitment, so that we will be able to continue to connect the public with a significant body of work which has been neglected for many years, thereby rightly expanding the canon of classical music forever.’

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