The Sydney Conservatorium of Music has announced the Composing Women line up for 2020-2021. Brenda Gifford, Jane Sheldon, May Lyon and Fiona Hill will be the next cohort to take part in the development program, working closely with the Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, as well as developing their own projects, under the mentorship of Liza Lim and the Sydney Conservatorium’s composition unit. The composers will also receive mentoring in business skills provided by industry partners including APRA AMCOS, the Australian Music Centre, Musica Viva and ABC Classic.

Brenda Gifford Brenda Gifford

“Music composition has traditionally lagged behind the other arts in terms of gender representation,” Lim said. “I am proud of Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s deep commitment to creating new pathways for a more inclusive world in music where the incredible diversity of women composing can be celebrated. With diversity comes increased quality and we have seen brilliant results with the achievements of previous cohorts of the program.”

For Lim, there has been one very simple lesson that has emerged from the last few years of the program: “When you remove barriers to participation and provide opportunities...