BBC Radio 3 has announced plans to record previously unheard music by historical female composers, win an effort to broaden the repertoire played on the station.


For the past two years, on International Women’s Day (8 March), the station has played an full day of music by only female composers. Edwina Wolstencroft, editor of Radio 3’s Women’s Day, says about previous broadcasts that ‘There were composers it was not possible to feature because the performances or recordings to play to our listeners just didn’t exist. 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.’

In conjunction with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, BBC Radio 3 will host a seminar in London on 25 January, where academic experts will present works for consideration. BBC Radio 3 will then select the best works, and commit to recording and performing the music in public.

‘We hope to make this an ongoing commitment,’ said Alan Davey, controller of BBC Radio 3, ‘so that we will be able 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.’

Read more:

• How can we increase diversity in classical music?


• 10 female composers you should know