Founder Caroline Neeling introducing the Consort of Melbourne
WOMEN IN MUSIC FESTIVAL
Festival Founder Caroline Neeling was inspired to create a festival celebrating women composers while musing over another Victorian music festival, for which she had been Vice-President.
The final concert of the wonderful Brunswick Beethoven Festival - performed by the scintillating trio PLEXUS - had featured two pieces written by women.
Reflecting on this, Caroline was dismayed to belatedly realise that only four of the forty-odd pieces performed at the Festival were by women. Undertaking research immediately, she found that in classical music, an average of 3-5% of performances in the concert hall and on radio are pieces composed by women.
That's correct... 3-5%. Looking deeper, she found that this statistic is also true - if not worse - in other genres including Indigenous, Film, Games and Jazz music.
Caroline thought about these facts for a couple of days then plucked up her courage. She called PLEXUS co-founder Monica Curro and said "I want to create a new festival celebrating compositions by women, in Indigenous, games, classical, film and jazz music. It would be a dream come true if you'd be the festival’s Artistic Director, and if you could announce the birth of the Festival on ABC FM next Thursday [8th March 2018] which is International Women’s Day. What do you think?’
Without hesitation, Monica said yes, and a Festival was born!
The Women in Music Festival takes place in one of Melbourne's most unique venues, RMIT University's Storey Hall, the home of Melbourne's Suffragettes at the time they were granted the vote. Storey Hall is still, today, adorned with Suffragette colours: green, white and violet.
To read more about this iconic building click here.