Association of Swedish Women Composers, ASCW – Annual Report 2012
The Golden Broom
In June 2012, the board of ASWC decided to give the Golden Broom 2012 Award to the music festival Sound of Stockholm, citing the following justification:
”The Golden Broom 2012 is awarded to the lively young festival Sound of Stockholm, which since its inception in 2012 has presented domestic and international contemporary music in Stockholm with vigour and love, in a modern and generous spirit, governed by the principles of the independent music scene, placing the music and the audience, enjoying one another, in the foreground. In 2011, this approach produced a programme in which 56 % of the works were composed by women—entirely normally and with no showiness.”
The Golden Broom was presented during the Sound of Stockholm festival, on 20 November 2012 at Kulturhuset. The award consisted as usual of a work of art by Ann Rosén, a certificate, and a commissioned work. New European Ensemble, conducted by Christian Karlsen, performed the Golden Broom Fanfare by Anna Eriksson at the ceremony.
Pop Camp at Ung08
For the third consecutive year, ASWC collaborated with Popkollo (Pop camp) at the Ung08 festival in Kungsträdgården, Stockholm, in August 2012. Popkollo targets 13-18 year-old girls, encouraging them to make music in different genres. Syntjuntan hosted a workshop entitled ”sew your own synthesizer”. It was a highly appreciated element of the festival, and an eye-opener to what art music and composing can encompass.
ASWC executed its annual count of orchestral works composed by women, under the direction of Per-Åke Byström, with the assistance of Birgitta Huldt, Andrea Tarrodi, Paula af Malmborg Ward and Krystyna Pettersson. Works by women composers performed by the nation’s 19 leading orchestras in the 2012-2013 season amounted to 3.48 percent, according to season programmes.
The share of works by women written after 1945 was 2 percent. The amount of women-composed premieres was 0.8 percent. ASWC presented these statistics on the website and on Facebook 10 October, garnering major media attention. SR P2 Mitt i musiken featured the news, and after syndication by TT Spektra, the story was published in approximately 50 printed and online publications.
The ASWC website, kvast.org, has been continuously developed and updated, and currently comprises 1500 pages and posts. An English version for international launch is being planned.
The number of composer bios grew over the year from just over 300 to nearly 700, making the ASCW website a world-leading resource of high interest to concert arrangers, musicians, academics, and others.
Over the year of operation, the ASWC website has attracted close to 17,000 unique visitors (averaging 1,400 per month, or close to 50 per day).
We currently have almost 900 works in our Repertoir Repository online, as a result of special efforts before application deadlines ad at choral conductor conventions.
In April, we launched a campaign in new media channels by creating a Facebook page, which had 250 likes/follower at the end of the year. Some weeks, the page had a total reach of 3,000 people. 88 updates were posted in April-December, many of which linked to news stories on the ASWC website.
In the media
In addition to the more than 50 publications of news items generated by the orchestra statistics in October, a number of news stories were presented in Mitt i musiken, Sveriges Radio, featuring interviews with the ASWC chairperson. Among them was a story relating a statement issued when Berwaldhallen published its season programme in May, which garnered a lot of attention. This story, too, generated more than 50 online publications following a TT Spektra cable.
In October, the ASWC chairperson also participated in a live debate in Mitt i musiken, along with the manager of Konserthuset, Stefan Forsberg.
The orchestra statistics have also generated stories in, among others, Svenska Dagbladet, Skånes fria tidningar, and Helsingborgs Dagblad, and they have been discussed in several blogs.
In December, ASWC placed #9 on a list of most influential actors in the music industry in 2012 compiled by Opus magazine, and was named a ”paragon in cultural policy”.
The February 2013 issue of Opus was themed female composers, referring to ASWC and quoting Stina Lyles.
The ASWC chairperson was interviewed in SR P4 on International Women’s Day.
The ASWC operations have been mentioned by Wimust in a presentation to the European parliament in June, and in conjunction with the change of chairmanship in the EU in December.
The board has initiated collaboration between ASWC and the Italian organization Fondazione Adkins Chiti/ Donne In Musica which manages the three-year WIMUST (Women in Music Uniting Strategies for Talent), which in July admitted ASWC as honorary member and Swedish representative. In addition to participation in the project, this yields access to an international network, co-participation in advocacy actions targeting the European parliament and other EU bodies, and indirect UNESCO membership.
Stina Lyles participated in the second WIMUST conference in Fiuggi, 5-8 July, 2012.
The project and network membership also allows ASWC to nominate two members every year for a scholarship stay in Fiuggi (3 months duration) and a concert series of 3 to 5 concerts in Italy. (The first ASWC nominee to be awarded the scholarship was Anna-Lena Laurin, in 2013.)
ASWC has reached out to women composers and equality activists in the Nordic music scene, especially in Norway and Denmark, to explore opportunities for collaboration.
ASWC has participated in a network gathering for the exchange of knowledge and experiences among associations for women and equality in the music industry, hosted by Statens musikverk (Music Development and Heritage Sweden). In conjunction with that meeting, we made contact with the newly formed, small organzation Kupp (Women upon the podium), and they participated in our members’ meeting on 24 May, at which opportunities for future collaboration were discussed.
The meeting on 24 May was attended by Anna-Karin Larsson, head of the music department at Swedish Radio, and Elle-Kari Höjeberg, head of Swedish Radio channel P2, who told us about the ongoing equality work at SR, specifically as it pertains to music selection. As of a few years, inspired by ASWC, they set quantitative targets in this area.
Per-Åke Byström, Stina Lyles, Kristina Aspeqvist, and Tebogo Monnakgotla of ASWC participated in the Musikliv i balans [A Balanced Music Scene] conference in May, hosted by Statens musikverk. ASWC member Catharina Backman participated in a panel discussion.
In October, the ASWC chairperson participated in an orchestra seminar hosted by SOF at Norrlandsoperan, Umeå.
Over the year, ASWC has applied for, and received, funds for its operations and for specific projects from Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien, Helge Ax:son Johnsons stiftelse and Stim’s Promotionnämnd. An application was submitted to Statens musikverk, but it was rejected.
Over the year of operations (since the 2012 annual meeting), the number of members has increased from approximately 60 to 103 (in February 2013), after a concerted effort to widen our recruitment. 75 of our 103 members are composers, 10 of which are men, and ASWC has a total of 16 male members. The annual meeting voted to abolish the concept of supporting membership, and to accept organizations as members. Female composers retain the additional membership benefit of being featured on and promoted by the ASWC website.