Celebrating Women Composers

Celebrating Women Composers
'We’ve got a lot of lost time to make up for, and infinite facets of the female human experience to render.'
Sarah Kirkland Snider 

Wise Music Group has long celebrated diversity in its catalogue of classical music, both diversity of composer and diversity of idiom. For almost one hundred years, Wise Music Group publishing houses have represented the leading women composers and continue to find ways in which to bring great music to the stage – G Schirmer’s work to publish the catalogue of Florence Price (1887-1953) is among our most recent efforts. This International Women’s Day, we have published Celebrating Women Composers: A Timeline, an interactive brochure of music by women composers published by Wise Music Classical. 

Explore Celebrating Women Composers: A Timeline


The call for fairer representation of women composers in the programming of festivals and orchestral seasons has never been stronger. With increasing regularity, we are asked for concise information about the women composers whose music we represent. Laid out in chronological order, this booklet not only aims to introduce you to leading women composers of today but emphasise the rich history of women’s voices in classical music composition and bring their works to the fore. We have listed within composers for whom we publish a significant amount of orchestral music worldwide, including brief introductions to each composer, repertoire listings and interactive links to explore the music further online.


Included in Celebrating Women Composers: A Timeline are: Florence Price (1887-1953)
Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983)
Elizabeth Maconchy (1907-1994)
Peggy Glanville-Hicks (1912-1990)
Betsy Jolas (b.1926)
Thea Musgrave (b.1928)
Joan Tower (b.1938)
Alison Bauld (b.1944)
Nicola LeFanu (b.1947)
Kaija Saariaho (b.1952)
Judith Weir (b.1954)
Jocelyn Pook (b.1960)
Rachel Portman (b.1960)
 Karen Tanaka (b.1961)
Debbie Wiseman (b.1964)
Augusta Read Thomas (b.1964)
Juliana Hodkinson (b.1971)
Gabriela Lena Frank (b.1972)
Maja S K Ratkje (b.1973)
Sarah Kirkland Snider (b.1973)
Britta Byström (b.1977)
Anna Thorvaldsdottir (b.1977)
Louise Alenius (b.1978)
Cheryl Frances-Hoad (b.1980)
Missy Mazzoli (b.1980)
Helen Grime (b.1981)
Outi Tarkiainen (b.1985)

There are of course many others too, such as Ethel Smyth, Elisabeth Lutyens, Heather Christian, Hildur Ingveldardóttir Guðnadóttir, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Lili Boulanger, Lera Auerbach, Galina Ustvolskaya, Elena Firsova, and Sofia Gubaidulina, all of whom we represent through recordings, chamber, or larger works available in select territories – all equally worthy of discovery. Visit musicsalesclassical.com for more details.

We hope that this resource will inspire you to tackle representation in programming or simply prove a handy document from which to discover new music to love. Please contact your local Wise Music office or representative for further information about any of the composers or repertoire featured in this booklet.



Top photo: Kaija Saariaho © Christophe Abramowitz