Women Composers of Our Time. February 27 – March 2, 2017 in Cairo

Women Composers of Our Time

February 27 – March 2, 2017

With “Women Composers of Our Time”, we would like to explore the situation of women in music and especially the field of composition in different cultures from three different angles – in the course of a panel discussion, a talk at the university, and a women composersʼ concert.

We believe it would be insufficient to explain away the absence of women composers in the musical landscape of the Middle East solely by pointing to the small contemporary classical market, a lack of recognition of the genre, and the overall standing of women in Middle Eastern societies. However, our aim is not to confirm the rarity of women composers in the contemporary music, as the whole field is marginalized and composers of all genders are shunned from the mainstream artistic scene. Much rather, we hope that with “Women Composers of Our Time”, we will be able to shed more light on the progress of the presence of women composers worldwide in different cultures that deal with questions of gender differently.

The EECMS strongly believes in establishing a constructive cultural dialogue that involves other important actors in society in order to complement the musical and performative nature of its projects. That is why collaborating with other organizations such as the Women and Memory Forum in Cairo (http://www.wmf.org.eg/en/) is of much importance. The Women and Memory Forum has been involved in a process of highlighting the role of women in Oral and Written history, and its academic expertise will greatly enrich the project. We are now working toward a joint roundtable discussion at the new residence of the Goethe-Institut, including artists, composers and academics who will discuss the role of women in general and women composers in particular at different epochs and in different areas throughout history.


 1-Panel discussion in collaboration with the Women and Memory Forum and the Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble, hosted and supported by the Goethe-Institut Egypt in Cairo. The program and list of speakers is being developed in close collaboration with the Women and Memory Forum. The programm will be accompanied by performances of short pieces by Bushra Al Turk (Lebanon/UK), Kaija Saariaho (Finland) and Anahita Abbasi (Iran).

2- Egyptian Contemporary Music Ensemble Concert, Ewart Memorial Hall – in collaboration with the American University in Cairo, Center for the Arts, with the friendly support of the Goethe-Institut. With the concert, we wish to showcase as wide a range of contemporary music forms as possible, including sound art and electronic tools. It will feature a world premiere by leading Egyptian sound artist Yara Mekawei and Egyptian premieres by Kaija Saariaho (Finland), Isabel Mundry (Germany), Seung-Won Oh (South Korea), and  Tansy Davies (UK).