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Hilde Holbæk-Hanssen

Do I Really Have a Special Strategy to Promote a Woman Composer?

My job in Music Information Centre Norway is to promote Norwegian composers’ music to decision makers within music, and to place information about it in important places. During the 32 year I have been working with this, I have been concerned NOT to make any difference between the genders. Though women composers are fewer than men, and subsequently less performed, I think I would have given a wrong signal if I had promoted the women as something else than their male colleagues. The “problem” is not that they are women, but that they compose contemporary music.

In Norway I find women composers a natural part of the music scene, and that it would have been patronizing to present them as creatures that need a certain regard.



In my promotion work I have never experienced that the theme “women composers” is interesting to a festival director, unless it is a women music festival. Such festivals, concert series and symposiums, however, represent an advantage to women composers in comparison to their male colleagues. I can see that the need for this has existed, but I wonder for how long such forums are beneficiary for the women composers.

– If we do not have any special strategy for the promotion in this field, we have a tool, though, for information: You may search on women composers in our online catalogue.




Cecilie Ore