The first four participants in a new project aimed at women working in classical music have been announced. Balancing the Score: Supporting Female Composers is a new scheme launched by Glyndebourne to help address the under-representation of female composers in classical music.
The four women are Anna Appleby, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Cecilia Livingston and Ailie Robertson. They will benefit from a two-year residency at the Sussex opera house, where they will have commissioning opportunities, attend rehearsals and meet professional opera makers and performers. They will also receive an annual bursary of £1,000 to cover any costs. The residency started in January 2019.
Glyndebourne is also collaborating with its resident orchestras, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, as well as Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta and Southbank Centre, to provide opportunities for Balancing the Score participants.
Anna Appleby is a Manchester-based composer who has written for everyone from amateur choirs to world-leading orchestras such as the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the orchestra of Dutch National Ballet. In 2016 she became the youngest Music Fellow with Rambert Dance Company.
Ninfia Cruttwell-Reade is a composer and cellist based in Edinburgh, where she writes music for old, new and damaged musical instruments. Her operatic monodrama based on the life of the 1890s art nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley will receive its first performance in Princeton in 2019.
British-Canadian composer Cecilia Livingston specialises in music for voice. Winner of the Canadian Music Centre’s 2018 Toronto Emerging Composer Award and the Mécénat Musica Prix 3 Femmes for female opera creators, she is currently working on Terror & Erebus, a chamber opera for TorQ Percussion Quartet and Toronto-based company Opera 5.
Edinburgh-born Ailie Robertson is a multi-award-winning composer and performer whose work crosses the boundaries of traditional and contemporary music. She is also a multi-award-winning harpist. She has written new works for the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bang on a Can, The St Magnus International Festival, Celtic Connections Festival and Ensemble Perpetuo.
Balancing the Score composers, clockwise from top left: Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Cecilia Livingston, Ailie Robertson and Anna Appleby.