For more diversity in concert life: 760 orchestral works by women composers 

Only a handful of chamber works by women composers have so far become established in the concert repertoire. Larger forms appear even more rarely on concert programmes. The ForumMusikDiversität has surveyed music publishers and compiled a list of music on sale or for hire. Every concert season, Swiss symphony orchestras programme at most one or two works by women composers. When this is queried, conductors and management reply that the financial risks of performing such works are too great, and orchestral material is too hard to find. 

For practice

To counter this second argument, we offer this list of orchestral works by women composers available to be bought or hired from music publishers. The scoring is given for each work. At the end of the document we give a list of the publishers’ addresses. Our list is based on a first version compiled in 2006, which has now been updated and expanded by Barbara Dietlinger, student of musicology in Munich and a former intern with our association. It should be self-evident that the list is not exhaustive. We have paid particular attention to Swiss women composers, who are marked with “CH”.

Four centuries of orchestral music by women composers 

The list covers works of all types and for all orchestral scorings, from string pieces, to ballets for large orchestra, via Classical symphonies. The earliest composer on the list is Wilhelmine von Bayreuth (1709–1758), with her Concerto in G for harpsichord and strings; the most recent is the Swiss composer Isabel Wullschleger (b. 1985), with “Orage d’oiseaux”. Composers from Eastern Europe are noticeably well represented, especially by the publisher PWM from Cracow. Examples include composers such as Anna Maria Klechniowska (1888–1973) and Grażyna Krzanowska (b. 1952), both of whom are completely unknown in Switzerland.

Print version: orders (CHF 30) to:; T 031 372 72 15.
Contact: ForumMusikDiversität, Dr Irène Minder-Jeanneret