Glyndebourne picks four women composers

Glyndebourne picks four women composers


norman lebrecht

November 13, 2018

Message received:

The first four participants in a new development scheme exclusively for female composers have been announced. Balancing the Score: supporting female composers has been launched by Glyndebourne to help address the under-representation of female composers in classical music.

The four participating composers are:
Anna Appleby, 25
Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, 29
Cecilia Livingston, 33
Ailie Robertson, 35
Through the scheme, the composers will spend two years immersed in life at Glyndebourne, where they will be introduced to commissioning opportunities, attend rehearsals and meet professional opera makers and performers.


  • boringfileclerk says:

    And they picked no transgendered or non-binary composers. Glyndebourne therefore promotes hate.

  • Dennis says:

    Aleuts, Papuans, and Zulus are “under-represented” in classical music too. Will they soon get affirmative action privileges also, rather than letting the market decide which composers it wants to hear?

    • 18mebrumaire says:

      Let the market decide? The market has made its decision before before the quill is dipped in the inkwell.

    • John Borstlap says:

      There is no ‘market’ which decides which new music we will hear. It all depends upon individual decisions at opera houses and orchestras (concerning live music). And these decisions are made according to so many different parameters that conclusions are impossible. Selecting female composers simply looks good today given their underrepresentation. Zulu composers, or invalid ones, or composers with unacceptable opinions, may get lucky in a following trend. And don’t forget the exclusively selected ‘avantgardists’ of yore who got so lucky that so many people believed they were carrying the flame of the art form forwards – in spite of rejection from audiences and (most of the ) players…. they also had their lucky hour.

      The most difficult for programmers is the selection of good composers since they are so rare and there are no standards or norms or aesthetics against which they could be assessed. And if there were standards, most people in music life would have the greatest difficulty to make an informed and valid judgement, simply because it requires much talent to do so – almost as much as is needed to become a composer or a superb player.

      It seems to me that Glyndebourne is giving an important signal….. hopefully the ladies come-up with something truly interesting, and not with the usual conventional ‘modern stuff’ which does not work very well in opera.

  • Daniel Layne says:

    I don’t agree with this at all. It is sexism at it’s worst.
    Why should these women be given preference over equally qualified male composers?
    Composer’s music should not be judged on their gender.
    Perhaps, though, the reason that female composers have been under-represented in classical music is that their music isn’t very good?

  • Connor says:

    Disgusting how identity politics is corrupting classical music, whatever happened to equality of opportunity? Do Glyndebourne really view women as being such bad composers that they need spefial help? I personally am shocked and appalled at the lack of Inuit composers represented by Glyndebourne.

  • Weltschmerz says:

    Perhaps Alissa Firsova would have been a better choice? That being said who wants to be recognized for their sex?

  • Bruce says:

    Gotta love folks’ insistence on not understanding by insisting that there’s nothing to understand.

  • Chris says:

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn………(apologies to Rhett Butler) whether a composer is male, female, mixed gender, no specific gender or what! All that should matter is – can they compose – and for preference, do I like what they have written. Otherwise let’s forget anything except their talent.