FEMINALE DER MUSIK – Female Composers
The text »Feminale der Musik« with two portraits of women, one lady in an 18th century painting and the second in a 20th century photograph.
ZKM honors female composers with a four-week digital festival
Mon, April 06, 2020 – Fri, May 01, 2020, Festival

Whether Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Johann Strauss or Alexander Scriabin, the male composers are among the great names of music history. But what about female composers, like Isabella Leonarda or Rebecca Saunders? The »Feminale« is dedicated to the lack of female creative musicians in historiography.

In the digital space, ZKM can make a contribution to the recognition of musical achievements of outstanding female composers, who are unfortunately still underrepresented in the real space of concert halls. From April 6 to May 1, 2020, the ZKM will present, every day from Monday to Friday, selected pieces from the 17th century to the present day: half a millennium of compositions by women.

At every time and in every composer's biography, there have been obstacles, such as social constraints, envy and narrow-mindedness of male colleagues, or even professional bans that these remarkable women musicians have had to overcome in order to work and publish creatively. Some of them were very famous during their lifetime, but were forgotten after their death. Even today, in the superficially open and democratic information age, women composers find it considerably more difficult to learn, practice and teach in conservative structures than their male counterparts.

One or two female composers will be presented daily during the festival. The program ranges from early representatives such as Francesca Caccini (1587–1640), Barbara Strozzi (1619–1677), Wilhelmine von Bayreuth (1709–1748), Lili Boulanger (1893–1918) and Mel Bonis (1858–1937) or the Karlsruhe composers Clara Faisst (1872–1948) and Margarete Schweikert (1887–1957) to contemporary composers like Olga Neuwirth, Rebecca Saunders and Adriana Hölszky.

Weekly Program: Feminale of Music

Peter Weibel on »Feminale of Music«

The Event via Livestream

Initiated by Peter Weibel
Curated and organized by Lisa Bensel and Dominique Theise

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Cooperation Partners