Links, Lists and Tips


About the Links List

Eager to learn more? We’ve got you covered. Our list of resources is bigger than you might imagine! To help you navigate, we’ve divided it into helpful categories.

Using our mobile site? Tap on the red headings to drill down.

Some databases of composers through the ages are sprawling and extensive. Others are narrower in scope, and include fewer names but more information about each one. We’ve also collected links to playlists and podcasts where you can listen to music, an overview of festivals around the world featuring women composers, and even a guide to help you argue for why we need more women in orchestral programming. Plus a lot more!

Go straight to Recommended! if you’re just feeling curious but not looking for anything specific, like a particular database or membership organizations for women composers. After that, you might want to check out Podcasts & Periodicals.

Please note: where there are multiple links, you can check the link text to see if it goes to e.g. a Facebook page or a Twitter account. We’ll be replacing these links with symbols in the future!

Know of any relevant new (or evergreen) sites that you think we should add? We’d love to hear about them.
Send us an e-mail at

Databases and Composer Biographies

A Modern Reveal - Songs and Stories of Women Composers
An American resource for singers that includes biographies, scores and music by women composers. An ongoing project beginning with Italian arias.

Archiv Frau und Musik
A Frankfurt-based archive that includes some 1,800 women composers from more than 50 countries.

One of the world’s biggest and oldest archives about women in music.

KVAST has close and productive contacts with this archive!
ArchivFrauUndMusik facebook
Archivfraumusik instagram

British Music Collection - International Women’s Day Campaign
Profiles of 31 British women composers, including interviews and samples of their music.
British Music Collection - interviews

Database of Notable Women
A biographical database of more than 10,980 notable women in history—not only composers!

Donne – Women in Music
From classical music label Drama Musica in the UK, the Donne project seeks to raise awareness for women composers of past and present. They have a YouTube channel with profiles of women composers.

The blog Donne 365 features a new composer every day.
Donne Youtube

Frauen Musik Forum
List from 2013 of 760 orchestral works composed by women.
Frauen Musik Forum - List

Fantastic Women Composers & WHERE TO FIND THEM
Swedish oboist Magdalena Fronczak maintains this database of women composers from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Mainly in Swedish, but an English translation is in progress.
Categories include historical era and country. You can also search by genre: for example, chamber music, film/television/radio, choral or opera/musical theater.
Includes composer biographies and sound examples.

Institute for Composer Diversity
Site with a award-winning database of over 3,000 women and nonbinary composers from around the world.

International Music Score Library Project - IMSLP
Library of digital scores with a category for women composers. 

Kassia Database (for singers)
A database of vocal scores by women composers, categorized by range, tessitura and difficulty level. You can also submit new compositions.

Female Composers
En databas med drygt 900 kvinnliga tonsättare skapad av Per-Åke Byström från sidan iMusiken.

A database of more than 900 women composers, created by Per-Åke Byström using the iMusiken site.

Kvinnliga tonsättare: bevarande och tillgängliggörande av ett kulturarv (Women composers: Preserving and disseminating a cultural legacy)
Under the auspices of the larger project Levande musikarv (Living musical legacy), this worthy initiative by Sweden’s Royal Academy of Music is identifying scores by women composers in the Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket library archives and making them accessible to musicians of today.

More than 1,000 pieces by some 70 women composers have so far been found. Many scores are already available for free download via the Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket catalog and more are being added on an ongoing basis.
Information: Musik- och teaterbiblioteket Kvinnliga tonsättare
Inventory: Musik- och teaterbiblioteket Lista raritetssamling
Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket catalog: Musik- och teaterbiblioteket online

Many many women
A database of women composers spanning many genres: art music, EAM, intermedia and more. Useful links to composer websites, Soundcloud pages, etc.
It’s simple to submit your details if you want to be included.

MUGI database of women composers
Definitely don’t miss this initiative of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg.
NB: You can choose English instead of German, but the material in German is much more extensive.
Includes biographical articles and, in some cases, multimedia presentations.
MUGI Lexicon

New York Women Composers

Stichting Vrouw en Muziek (Dutch Women and Music Foundation)
NB: Only in Dutch. Informative compilation of Dutch women composers.

Savonia Musical Society
Finnish society that searches out and digitalizes music by women composers from history.

Vingbrus – Orgelverk
List of organ repertoire by women composers, with more than 2,000 titles.

A portrait a day of a woman composer for all of 2018.

Women Composers Collection
Collection of scores by 700 women composers, most from France and Great Britain. Created by the University of Michigan Library in the United States.
Direct link to the collection:

Women Composers Database
A database of women composers created by the Kapralova Society. Like the KVAST database, it is extensive and also offers additional resources, including a wealth of links to articles about women composers and a survey of existing literature and research in the field.

Plus a prodigious bibliography of literature on women composers:

Women of Note
Database about women composers run by Diana Ambache.
Women of Note Youtube

Festivals and Concert Series

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Cambridge Female Composers Festival
Cambridge University in the United Kingdom hosts this major festival of music by women and nonbinary composers.

Illuminate Women’s Music
This touring concert series in the UK features women composers and performers.

Femmes Musicales
Based in Bern, this nonprofit seeks to supoprt women composers, spark discussion about gender roles, and promote the exchange of ideas by organizing concerts with at least 50% women.

Festival in Basel, Switzerland featuring music by women composers.

Présences féminines
French festival that promotes women composers from history and also commissions new works. Toulon, France.

Swiss Female Composers Festival
Festival founded in 2019 to give Swiss women composers a platform for the performance of their (most recent) works.

Venus Unwrapped
Year-round concert series in London, focusing on women composers.


United States

La Donna Musicale
American organization dedicated to researching and performing the music of women composers from the Renaissance to today.*

Lunart Festival
In Madison, Wisconsin. Organizes a Call for Scores for women composers. Selected composers receive free festival housing and professional audio and video recordings of their winning composition.

Music by Women Festival
Held at Mississippi University for Women.

Festival for contemporary opera and musical theater in New York City.

The Boulanger Initiative
Washington, D.C. festival promoting women composers through performance, education and commissions.

Women Composers, Festival of Hartford
Festival in Hartford, Connecticut.

Women in Music Festival (USA)
Held at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester in New York. Free festival that includes concerts, a guest composer, master classes, lectures and more.


Other Countries

The Canadian Women Composers Project - CWC
Initiative to promote the music of Canadian women composers through concert performances.

Women in Music Festival (Australia)
Festival in Melbourne that also runs a competition for young women composers with fewer than ten years’ professional experience.

Groups, Projects, and Research Centers Around the World

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International Alliance for Women in Music
International membership organization dedicated to fostering and encouraging women in music.

Internationale Komponistinnen-Bibliothek
International music library that collects works by women composers and makes them accessible to the public.


Föreningen Svenska Tonsättare (Swedish Society of Composers)
Organization representing Swedish composers.

Association to support and promote women musicians who work with improvisation.

A network for art music composers and sound artists who identify as female or trans.

KUPP! - Kvinnor Upp På Pulten (Women Take the Podium)

Kvinnliga tonsättare: bevarande och tillgängliggörande av ett kulturarv (Women composers: Preserving and disseminating a cultural legacy)
Under the auspices of the larger project Levande musikarv (Living musical legacy), this initiative by Sweden’s Royal Academy of Music is identifying scores by women composers in the Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket library archives and making them accessible to musicians of today.
More than 1,000 pieces by some 70 women composers have so far been found. Many scores are already available for free download via the Musik- och Teaterbiblioteket catalog and more are being added on an ongoing basis.
See the Inventory link under Databases and Composer Biographies!

Orchestra that performs and promotes music by women composers. Founded in 2018 in Malmö.


Other Nordic Countries


Women’s instrumental group that spotlights music by women composers.

Dansk komponistförening (Danish Composers’ Society)
No special chapter for women composers at this time.

Kvinder i Musik
Established to support women in music.


Suomen Säveltäjät
This organization for Finnish composers has a working group for gender equality issues. Partners with the Sibelius Academy on a project for gender equality in the field of composition, with the aim of encouraging young women to study composition.


Kítón - konur í tónlist
An organization for Icelandic women in music, including composers and performers. A platform for collaboration and solidarity.


Balansekunst (The Art of Balance)
An association of more than 70 arts and cultural organizations working for gender equality in the arts.

Jenteprosjektet (Composition Course for Girls)
A composition course for young women over age 16, established in 2016 and organized by Rune Rebne and the Norwegian Academy of Music.

Norsk komponistforening (Norwegian Society of Composers)
Has a special chapter for women composers, Kvinneligaen. Awards the Likestellingsprisen (Equality Award) annually.

Nye Stemmer
Like Jenteprosjektet , this initiative offers instruction to working women composers in all genres as well as to women interested in applying to composition programs (minimum age 16). Activities include monthly seminars. Led by Rebecka Ahvenniemi.



CREIM - Cercle de Recherche Interdisciplinaire sur les Musiciennes (Inter­dis­ci­pli­nary Research Group on Female Musi­cians)
French interdisciplinary research organization dedicated to women performers and composers. Seeks to bring together research in musicology, sociology, history, gender studies, archival studies, literature studies and more.

Femmes et musique
French group dedicated to encouraging research on women composers of the past and present. Also organizes concerts.

Plurielles 34
An organization promoting French women composers and a valued partner of KVAST!


Fondazione Adkins Chiti: Donne in Musica
An organization working since 1978 to promote women composers.


Femmes Musicales
Bern-based nonprofit that seeks to suport women composers, spark discussion about gender roles, and promote the exchange of ideas by organizing concerts with at least 50% women.

Frauen Musik Forum
A Swiss forum for music whose mission is to support women and minorities and challenge traditional gender roles.

United Kingdom

Women in Music
Membership organization working to raise awareness of gender inequality in music and support women in their professional development.


Forschungszentrum Musik und Gender (Research Centre for Music and Gender)
Center for research at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hanover.

Musica femina
Organization for and about women composers, based in Munich.

Musik und Gender im Internet (MUGI)
Research initiative at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg, seeking to tell the full story of women in music history. International lexicon of women composers, links to articles and multimedia presentations (click on Lexicon to reach the database).

Sophie Drinker Institut
A musicological research institute specializing in women’s and gender studies, based in Bremen.

Gesellschaft für Musikforschung (German Musicological Society)
An academic society of muscologists in German.
See also MuWiGender below: a German-language Yahoo group from the division for women’s and gender studies; open to anyone who works with or is interested in research about women and gender in music.

Other Countries


IFCA - Iranian Female Composers Association
The IFCA was founded by the Iranian composers Niloufar Nourbakshsh, Anahita Abbasi, and Aida Shirazi in 2017. Its aims include supporting and performing music by Iranian women composers.


Israeli Women Composers and Performers Forum
Organization that works to establish and promote women composers on the Israeli music scene. One of its core activities is the three-day festival Vox Feminae, held at the Felicja Blumenthal Music Center in Tel Aviv.


The Arab Alliance of Women in Music (AAWM)
A coalition open to both men and women that works to encourage Arab women in music. The goal of the AAWM is to consolidate the role of women in music, both in history and today, and to network internationally.


ACWC/AFCC - The Association of Canadian Women Composers
Professional association for women and women-identified composers and musicians in Canada.


Chinese Woman Composers’ Association (CWCA)
The CWCA was founded in 2002 to support Chinese women composers and musicians.

United States

La Donna Musicale
Organization dedicated to the research and performance of music by women composers from the Renaissance to the present.

New York Women Composers
Organization of and for women composers seeking to support the creation, promotion and performance of music by women

Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy
American society that began as a symphony orchestra (1980–2004), providing information, resources and grants to help include more women in orchestral programming.

Podcasts & Periodicals

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A website for art music news, with near-daily updates. Maintained by Per-Åke Byström.

Tollans musikaliska
Podcasts by Birgitta Tollan for Sveriges Radio (Radio Sweden). New episodes approximately monthly. A 2015 Prix Europa nominee.


Gathering Her Notes
Music composed or performed by women, hosted by Kath Fraser.

Into the Light Radio
American radio show featuring musical samples, interviews and composer portraits, by the award-winning Kathryn Mishell. Site includes a show archive.

Listening to Ladies
English-language podcast by composer Elisabeth Blair dating back to 2016. Shows include interviews and musical excerpts. Covers topics such as being a women in the classical music industry, as well as the music and aesthetics of the interviewed composers.

The Daffodil Perspective
English-language weekly music radio show. Host Elizabeth de Brito is a passionate promoter of women composers.

Women and Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture
Annual journal about women, music and culture, published by the International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM).


Using our mobile site? Tap on the red headings to drill down.

Balansekunstprojektets argumentationsguide
Argumentation guide from Norway’s Art of Balance. Why equality is no barrier to quality!

Break the Sound Barrier
An inspiring American campaign to end gender inequality in programming for ensembles and orchestras. They provide templates and suggestions for how you can reach out to musical groups yourself and take action.

Listen to her - music by women composers
Facebook resource for finding music by women composers of past and present, and related materials.

Theory Examples for Teaching
Theory examples drawn from compositions by women composers.

The Ambache Charitable Trust
UK charitable organization providing financial support for concerts, recordings, radio and television programs, music scores and books promoting music by women composers. International applications will be considered.

1200 Years of Women Composers
From Open Culture, known for its cultural gems, a 78-hour playlist of music by women composers, from the Middle Ages to today.

Twitter account maintained by the composer Lisa Cheney.

Women & Gender Diverse People in Composition
Facebook group offering a safe and supportive space for women and nonbinary composers from around the world. Its goal is to facilitate friendships and networking, share resources, and provide a place to discuss ideas, experiences, and music.

Women in Music - Timeline
From Oxford Music Online, a timeline of women composers, performers, and more. An appealing, accessible overview.

Young Women Composers Camp
A summer camp for young women composers (ages 14–19), focusing on both traditional composition and electronics. Hosted by the Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the United States.

Recommended Listening:

Konsten att Humla (How to Be a Bumblebee)
In Swedish. Classic radio from 2006 by Birgitta Tollan, available in podcast format from Sveriges Radio (Radio Sweden). A six-part series about prejudices, thresholds and all manner of obstacles faced by women in music.
Konsten att Humla – complete program listing here

Kvinnan i fokus i Konserthuset (Women in Focus at the Concert Hall)
In Swedish. Stina Lyles, chair of KVAST, 8 March 2012.

Segment on Radio Sweden’s P4 station.

A Wealth of Musical Samples (“The music of women composers”)
Into the Light Radio ›

Spotify playlist: From Hildegard to Higdon (116 women composers)

Spotify playlist: Contemporary Composers I Never Heard of in Music History Class ›

Recommended Reading:

  • Aaron Cohen. International Encyclopedia of Women Composers (Books & Music Inc., New York, 1987). Available for loan from Statens Musikbibliotek.
  • A. Sadie and R. Samuel. The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers (Macmillan, London, 1994).
  • Karin Pendle. Women and Music: A History (Indiana University Press, 1991).
  • D. P. Jezic. Women Composers: The Lost Tradition Found (The Feminist Press, New York, 1994).
  • M. Furman Schleifer and S. Glickman. Women Composers: Music Through the Ages (G. K. Hall & Co, 1996).
  • Jacqueline Letzter. Women Writing Opera: Creativity and Controversy in the Age of the French Revolution (University of California Press, 2001).
  • Florence Launay. Kvinnliga kompositörer utan identitet (Svenska Dagbladet, October 2006).
    PDF download ›
  • Kvinnliga nätverk [Networks for Women] (STIM-Magasinet, April 2011).

About us

The Swedish Association of Women Composers (Kvinnlig Anhopning av Svenska Tonsättare – KVAST) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness for women composers and promote the performance of their music.
What’s a kvast, you may ask? In Swedish, the word kvast means “broom.”


The Repertoire Bank

At over 3,000 works (and counting), our database of music by women composers is among the largest in the world! Browse or search the records and hear samples of a wide range of music: symphonic and chamber, electronic and live electronic, choral and operatic. Find compositions by women based on genre, difficulty level, instrumentation, title or duration.

To The Repertoire Bank

Knowledge and Inspiration

Listen, look, read and learn more!
Here you can find selection of women composers with short bio and also a statistics report from Sweden 2016-2019.
Furthermore there are links to lists on Spotify and Youtube, a collection of Links and Tips and link to theory examples.

Knowledge and Inspiration