The first ever concerto for footballers and orchestra will be performed alongside the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 this summer.


It’s one of a number of new works to be performed as part of an extensive arts and heritage programme showcasing women artists - the first such programme to accompany a major British football tournament.

The programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England, will run alongside the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 from 6-31 July. Intended to establish female role models for both and girls, it consists of several new commissions by women artists.

These include various new works by the British-Jamaican composer, conductor and violinist Shirley J. Thompson (pictured), the tournament's Composer in Residence. Among them is MOMENTUM, the concerto for footballers and orchestra. Meanwhile Beautiful Game, a Tournament Anthem inspired by words and lyrics submitted by fans across the country, honours the achievements of women footballers and the bright future of the game. Both are recorded by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition, women composers Rosie Bergonzi, Charlotte Harding, Alice Phelps, Detta Danford, Sam Mason and Raye Harvey have been working - alongside RPO musicians - with community members in Host Cities to create Local Anthems reflecting the spirit of each area. Quintets from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will be in attendance on match days to excite the crowd by playing their Local and Tournament Anthems. The public is also invited to take part in the Momentum Challenge, creating football tricks to cues in the music.

Further offerings include The Supercompensation Cycle, an immersive and participatory artwork inviting the public to warm up for each match by replicating the movements of live performers. There’s also a new piece to accompany the building of a Stadium for the Future - a huge undertaking by the practically-minded collective Idle Women to build the first dedicated women’s football ground in the UK: during UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, women from across the UK will gather in fields, parks, and underpasses to dance at site-specific raves. These will culminate in a recorded sound piece that will broadcast until the stadium is complete.


Commenting on the programme, Caterina Loriggio, Arts and Heritage Lead for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2022, said: ‘We are delighted to be working with an extraordinary group of artists, historians, players, collaborators and institutions across the country to realise a significant arts and heritage programme that will pay tribute to women who have dedicated their lives to the game of football. We are thrilled to be sharing these stories and hope that it will nurture the next generation of fans and women football players’.

More like this


Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.