Online concerts and broadcasts celebrating International Women's Day this year

Mark International Women's Day with these virtual concerts, livestreams and broadcasts featuring works by female composers from history

Published: March 2, 2021 at 1:08 pm

A Century of Music by British Women (1921-2021)



Violinist Madeleine Mitchell directs a livestream concert from St John's Smith Square on International Women's Day celebrating a century of music by British women with the London Chamber Ensemble.

The performance will include the world premiere of a new piece for violin by Errollyn Wallen, named after Sojourner Truth, the American women's rights activist.

The concert is free of charge, with donations welcome. It will be broadcast simultaneously on the SJJS website and Facebook page and will be available to watch for a month afterwards on the SJJS website.

Pianist Michael Lu


Michael Lu, founder of Classical Music for a Better World, is hosting a mini concert to celebrate International Women's Day, featuring the work of six female composers spanning four centuries.

The concert will start at 8pm EST, with a Q&A afterwards. It will remain on Lu's YouTube channel until 8 April.

Juliane Reichardt: Sonata No. 1 in G from 'Lieder und Klaviersonaten'
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guèbrou: Golgotha
Fanny Mendelssohn: Das Jahr Suite: März
Jennifer Higdon: Notes of Gratitude
Florence Price: Fantasie nègre No. 4
Florence Price: Remembrance
Florence Price: Cotton Dance
Teresa Carreño: Highland

BBC Radio 3

6 March: Music Matters: Sandrine Piau, Geraldine Mucha, Steven Isserlis (11.45am)

A celebration of the fascinating life of British composer Geraldine Mucha (1917-2012). Tom Service also speaks to French soprano Sandrine Piau and cellist Steven Isserlis about their new recordings.

6 March: Sound of Cinema: The Women That Score (3pm)

Matthew Sweet explores the work of female film composers throughout history, including Elisabeth Lutyens, Doreen Carwithen and Wendy Carlos, as well as composers such as Rachel Portman, who became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

6 March: Words and Music: Women Walking Alone (5.30pm)

Words and Music explores the rebellious women who walked unchaperoned, from the women in Stephen Sondheim's musical Into the Woods to the Paris streets walked by George Sand. The programme will include music by Fanny Mendelssohn, Cecile Chaminade, Sofia Gubaidulina and Eliza Carthy.

7 March: Early Morning Show: The Anna Amalias (2pm)

Hannah French explores the colourful lives of two relatively unknown 18th-century German Princess composers, both called Anna Amalia.

8 March: Through the Night (12.30am)

The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra performs a concert of works exclusively written by female composers including music by Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann, Nadia Boulanger and Ethel Smyth as well as works by contemporary Slovakian composers.

8-12 March: Composer of the Week: Ruth Gipps (12pm)

British composer and pianist Ruth Gipps will be the focus of Composer of the Week as we mark her centenary year. She was quite the polymath, becoming the youngest British woman to earn a doctorate in music at the time, and went on to win composition prizes and pursue an illustrious performing career.

8-12 March: Afternoon Concert: Three Centuries of Women Composers (2pm)

Programmes will include Cecile Chaminade's symphonic ballet Callirhoë; Errollyn Wallen's choral work PACE, which represents a single human breath; and music by Swedish organist and composer Elfrida Andrée.

8 March: Lunchtime Concert (1pm)

Clara Schumann: Notturno, Op. 6 No. 2
Clara Schumann: Scherzo No. 2 in C minor, Op. 14
Natalie Klouda: Nightscapes 2020 (commissioned by BBC Radio 3, world premiere)
Sofia Gubaidulina: Chaconne
Clara Schumann Piano Sonata in G minor

Isata Kanneh-Mason (piano)

8 March: In Tune (5pm)

In Tune will feature the world premiere of a new work by Ella Jarman-Pinto, which explores the emotional impact of the pandemic on women. Plus, violinist Madeleine Mitchell talks to Sean Rafferty about the performance of her new work Sojourner Truth, listed above.

8 March: Radio 3 in Concert: Pioneers of a Century (7.30pm)

Ruth Gipps Chanticleer Overture (1944)
Cecile Marti Wave trip (2011 rev. 2020)
Ruth Gipps Symphony no. 2 (in one movement) Op. 30 (1945)
Music by Dobrinka Tabakova
Peggy Glanville-Hicks Tragic Celebration (1964)
Peggy Glanville-Hicks Sinfonia Pacifica (1953)

BBC Concert Orchestra/Jessica Horsley

8-12 March: The Essay: Shakespeare's Sister (10.45pm)

The Essay throughout the week will focus on Virginia Woolf's concept of 'Shakespeare's Sister' and tells the stories of other overlooked but talented female siblings of famous historical figures.

Monday: Maria Anna Mozaert
Tuesday: Sarah Fielding
Wednesday: Fanny Dickens
Thursday: Katharine Wright
Friday: Madame E Toussaint Welcome

To view other concert livestreams taking place this year, visit the BBC Music Magazine Livestream Calendar.


Top image: Ruth Gipps (Getty Images)

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