Advisory Council

Professor Susan Wollenberg
MA, DPhil (Oxon)
Professor of Music; Fellow and Tutor in Music, Lady Margaret Hall; Lecturer at Brasenose College

Dr. Kate Kennedy
PhD (Cambridge University)
Weinrebe Research Fellow and OCLW Administrator

Dr. Laura Hamer
BA Oxford, MA, PhD (Cardiff University)
Staff Tutor in Musis, Open University)

Graham Griffiths
DPhil (Oxon)
Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at City, University of London

Dr. Petteri Nieminen
MD, PhD, DTh, MA (viola, composition), University of Eastern Finland
Assistant professor University of Eastern Finland

Jussi Mattila
Choir master, Kuopio, Finland

Dr. Anastasia Belina
PhD, BMus (Hons)
Assistant Head of Undergraduate Programmes Royal College of Music

Dr Rhiannon Mathias
B. Mus, M. Phil, PhD
Music Fellow / Lecturer Bangor University

Astrid Pernille Hartmann
Musicologist, Chairperson of KVAST
The Association Swedish Women Composers

Eric Ruijssenaars
MA History, University of Leiden, Dutch Historian.

Why are there so few female composers?

But are they really so few?

Today the buzz is all around a woman’s place in the world.  There's lots of long overdue debate about the roles and opportunities for women in classical music too. However no one can deny that western music is historically dominated by men. No wonder that women, more than men, lose motivation to continue studying music and musical composition.

"I want to show to the world (to the degree that it is granted to me in this profession of music) the foolish error of men, who so greatly believe themselves to be masters of high intellectual gifts which cannot, it seems to them, be equally common among women."

Maddalena Casulana (Italy, c.1544 – c.1590)

You see, even in the sixteenth century, this gender imbalance was evident! According to the International Encyclopedia of Women Composers by Aaron I. Cohen, there are more than 6,000 female composers who didn't give up - and that list was complete only up until 1984. Through the present day women have made a significant contribution to music but often than not their contribution has been overlooked. We cannot ignore the fact that many of those who are recognized have had to face more hardship and resistance to their achievements than men – it has certainly not been a level playing field. Even when their work has been praised, women are less rewarded for it.

Donne and Drama Musica are standing firm for women composers and we invite you all to join us on this journey.

Let us praise the composers of the past, let us nurture and appreciate women composers writing new music now and with our hearts and souls let us encourage those who compose in the future. Help keep these women’s names and their music alive.

Spread the word and join us in recognising that women are musical geniuses too.

An Introduction

Hello and Welcome!

DONNE is my way, as a musician, to share with as many people as possible the fascinating stories of so many neglegted women composers. Sadly, many of them were unrecognized in their lifetimes and, for a series of reasons,their music was allowed to disappear from the public ear, unacknowledged and ignored.

By raising awareness about the huge inequality that we currently experience when it comes to knowing these women and hearing their music, we hope to help to create a more equal world for future generations.

That’s how an adventure starts...

Discover the lost world of women in music. Hear their stories in this website and listen to live interviews with women composers making their mark in the music world, now, today. 
Welcome to DONNE! Join us and help us to spread the word.

Gabriella Di Laccio
Founder & Curator
DONNE Women in Music


Collage, Gif, Video & Motion Graphics Artist

Arts Consultant

AJA Media Solutions


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