The Foundation: from 1978 till now

Women in Music was born in 1978 as a grass roots movement created by opera singer and musicologist, Patricia Adkins Chiti and became an international non-profit Foundation in 1996. It promotes and supports women composers, songwriters and music creators of all nationalities through its network of over 27,000 affiliated organisations, composers, performers, pedagogues, musicologists and researchers in 113 countries. 

Its mission is the “Declaration of Fiuggi”, in 32 languages. It encourages respect for women’s cultural diversity and creativity in line with the UNESCO 2005 Convention for Cultural Diversity. The Foundation promotes best practices facilitating the introduction of cultural policies to protect and promote diversity and capacity-building opportunities. 

If music is not performed it is not perceived to exist.

Donne in Musica promotes excellence in contemporary music and encourages intercultural dialogue.  The Foundation’s pioneering role in the affirmation of the concept of the uniqueness of women as creators of music has been recognized by the Italian government, UNESCO, the EUC, the EUP, the Arab Academy and UNESCO’s International Council for the Music. Since the seventies it collaborates with the Vatican and since the nineties with UNESCO and the European Music Council.

The Foundation’s Music library and archives are probably the largest of their kind in the world, with over 42,000 musical scores and databases for 21,000 composers.

Since 2011 the "1000 orchestras" project has encouraged 87 first perfomances of orchestral works by women composers. Donne in Musica also runs an online "Encyclopaedia of Living European Women Composers, Songwriters and Creators of Music" and works with radio and television in 60 countries.

International projects undertaken by the Foundation include 1,480 live concerts with music by 6700 women composers from 79 countries, reaching millions through radio and television streaming. 

In 2000 for the Grand Jubilee, it presented 147 concerts in cathedrals and churches, two telecasts worldwide: "Maria Mater Mundi" and "The Jubilee of Artists".

In 2005, for UNESCO’s World Music Forum, Hollywood, it presented "A Celebration of Women in Music." And in 2006, in Vienna’s Schonbrunn Theatre for the Mozart Celebrations, Maria Teresa Agnesi Pinottini’s opera, "Ulisse in Campania".

May 2015, in St. Peter's Basilica, saw the presentation of the new "Missa Pro Terrae Humilibus" for the poor and outcast, commissioned for and dedicated to Pope Frances and with music by ten women composers from Argentina and Italy.

The Foundation’s advocacy includes participation in international conferences and formulation of legislative proposals: in 2015 Donne in Musica joined forces with ECSA (European Composer and Songwriters Association) and presented the EUP with a Recommendation for a directive to protect and promote composers. Previously it had written the book “Key Changes for women in Music and the Performing Arts” for the European Parliament.

Between 1990 and 2015 it was consultant for projects in Austria, Cyprus, Germany, France, Scotland, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden and Serbia and participated in European Programmes:

2001 - Pyramids ou Pillaires;

2002 - Culture Gates;

2006 - 2009 - Women and Media in Europe; 2008 - Extra;

2009 - Music in Motion; 

2011- 2013 -WIMUST (Women in Music Uniting Strategies for Talent); 

2014 - 2016 - Balkan Female Jazz Artist in Residency programme.

Donne in Musica encourages

Capacity Building with residence periods in Fiuggi for composers and researchers from every part of the world:

Research and Publication of books: Since the 1980’s it has researched, written and published 51 books and over 1000 scholarly papers in Italian, English, Arabic, Spanish, German, Turkish, French, Portuguese, Russian, Croatian, Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Korean and Turkish. (2016 “Donne e Musica in Turchia” in Turkish, English, (Ed. Bilgi University, Istanbul) e “Le Musiciste del Lazio” (ed Sillabe srl).

 Outreach ed inclusione through concerts in theatrs, auditoriums, churches, schools, centres for the elderly and for mentally disable;

“Music for the Mind”:  help for music schools and conservatories in need through the supply of music, scores, recordings, dvds, books, encyclopaedias;

Custody, catalogation, digitalization e promotion of its own patrimony of over 43 thousand scores of music by women in all parts of the world, all genres and from the 11th century onwards.



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