Only a handful of female composers were regularly programmed by Australian orchestras in the 20th century. But this is slowly starting to change, reports Yvonne Frindle. She explores the initiatives the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra has introduced in 2021 to help redress the balance, including the mini festival She Speaks and the Miriam Hyde Circle.

She Speaks
Panelists for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Silent Women symposium as part of She Speaks: Rachel Bruerville, Becky Llewellyn, Hilary Kleinig, Anne Cawrse and Anna Goldsworthy. Photo © Claudio Raschella

The other day I came across the season brochure of an Australian symphony orchestra (it doesn’t matter which one) from 20 years ago. There were just two female composers, one of them Australian. In all, 47 minutes of music...