We are proud to be working with some of the UK's top musical talent in this project, and are actively looking for more participants. Join us!
While the project was initiated by the London Oriana Choir, we are keen to see many other choirs and musical groups "take the pledge" and join us in a commitment to champion women composers at every opportunity.
Dominic Ellis-Peckham, musical director of the London Oriana Choir, said: “The lack of exposure of the work of women composers is still sadly evident – the results of the independent survey we conducted show that very clearly. The London Oriana Choir has long been associated with commissioning and performing their music but felt that fresh impetus, new thinking and organisation is now needed to bring about greater change. I am very proud and excited to be involved with this project, which already has the support of several high profile individuals and organisations, and we hope that others will join us in developing five15 even further.”
The project has the backing of some major names in the classical music industry, including composer Cecilia McDowall who said: “The London Oriana Choir’s inspired project – five15 – brings a new and exciting perspective in highlighting the work of women composers. Conceived as a multi-faceted initiative it offers a broad spectrum of creative possibilities and will give many wonderful opportunities for showcasing new work in superb historic locations.
Composer and arranger Rachel Fuller, who has worked with London Oriana Choir on the Classic Quadrophenia and The Seeker projects, said: “I’m really excited to hear that London Oriana Choir is launching this pioneering project to support and highlight the work of women composers. Composing and the development of young composers is frequently perceived as "a man’s’ profession". That’s changing!!”
"BASCA welcomes the London Oriana Choir’s plans for commissioning 15 works by five female composers in the next five years.,” Vick Bain, CEO of BASCA (British Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), commented. “This is just the sort of initiative that is urgently needed to address the obvious inequality in composition. Over 80% of all composers are male and thus win most commissions in an ever perpetuating cycle. So by creating demand and profile for new works by female composers this will give heart to existing female professionals and inspiration to those young women coming through the ranks just entering the profession. We very much look forward to hearing the finished pieces!”
British composer and performer Kerry Andrew commented: “I'm a strong believer in positive prejudice, and I'm loving the London Oriana Choir's tiered approach to promoting great music by women, from turning the spotlight on existing work to creating opportunities for emerging composers. Go, Oriana!”
Anna Beer, PhD FRSA and Author of Sounds and Sweet Airs: the Forgotten Women of Classical Music:
"five15 is not just welcome, it is an essential step towards creating a world in which the voices of women and men composers are equally heard. As someone who has written about the historical conditions that silenced so many women in the past, and who has seen how quickly those who did manage to compose were forgotten or dismissed, I am thrilled to support this creative, coherent move to ensure that female composers have a platform - and, I hope, a legacy."