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Four participants in the Composing women program
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Composing women

Nurturing creativity in our composition students
Enabling four postgraduate students to work closely with industry partners such as the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra to develop their compositional work and professional skills.

About the program 

Sydney Conservatorium of Music offers a program of professional development aimed at fostering and empowering women composers. It runs over two years, with an intake every second year.

We workshop and perform participants' compositions, working intensively as a group and with each artist over two years. Compositions developed will form part or all of each participant's portfolio for her degree.

Participants who are not already in receipt of a postgraduate scholarship will also receive a Sydney Conservatorium of Music scholarship of $10,000 a year.

Established to mark the centenary of the Conservatorium, participants in the inaugural program in 2016-2017 worked with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, the Goldner String Quartet and percussionist Claire Edwardes

In 2018-19, our partners were: Sydney Symphony OrchestraSydney Chamber Opera with NIDA, and flute soloist Claire Chase. Our association with this artist and organisations is ongoing.

The 2020-2021 program 

We are offering four places to women postgraduate research students at the Conservatorium who are enrolled in the Master of Music (Composition) or Doctor of Musical Arts. Our partner organisations are the Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. There are also opportunities to develop your own independent projects.

Participants will be mentored by Professor Liza Lim as well as members of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s composition unit. We also provide mentoring in production and administrative skills throughout the program through Musica Viva Australia, APRA AMCOS, the Australian Music Centre and ABC Classic FM.  

This program is made possible through the generous assistance of our partners and through the Patrons of the Composing Women Program.

2020-21 Composing Women:

  • Brenda Gifford
  • Jane Sheldon
  • May Lyon
  • Fiona Hill

About the experience

Headshot of Elizabeth Younan, Composing Women participant
Elizabeth Younan, 2016-17 participant
"I loved that we could work with performers and hear our works being performed, it is crucial to the learning process."