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Royal Albert Hall and Donne Foundation announce new partnership to promote more women in music


The Royal Albert Hall and the Donne Foundation have announced a new partnership supporting the advancement of gender equality in the music industry, including a series of events in the Hall’s Elgar Room which will open with saxophonist and composer Camilla George. 

Founded by soprano Gabriella Di Laccio, Donne is a charitable foundation dedicated to achieving gender equality in music. 

Focused on celebrating, advancing, and amplifying anyone who identifies as a woman, their projects include The Big List – a list of over 5,000 women composers from the pre-medieval period to today – as well as events series, talks, programme consultation, research, and free multimedia resources showcasing the works of women in music from past and present.

Gabriella Di Laccio, founder of the Donne Foundation, said: "If we want to see a more equal music scenery, one that reflects the richness and diversity of talent, we need real commitment and action from all sectors of the music industry. It’s not about giving these voices a special month to shine, but a regular platform that can amplify the message, engage new audiences, and spotlight unknown talent. 

We couldn’t think of a better partner to start this wonderful collaboration. We look forward to creating more positive impact together with the Royal Albert Hall.

Matthew Todd, Director of Programming at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “Diversity is at the core of our business plan, and we’re acutely aware of the need for greater representation for women across all parts of the music industry. We’re excited to be working with the Donne Foundation on this important issue.”

Donne will guest curate a range of events in the Hall’s Elgar Room, the first of which will feature saxophonist and composer Camilla George. Her third studio album, ‘Ibio-Ibio’ (released in September 2022) is a tribute to the Ibibio people of Southeastern Coastal Nigeria.

In 2022, Donne published the results of their research into equality & diversity of global repertoire, looking at over 20,400 works programmed by 111 orchestras in 31 countries. Of these, 87.7% were written by white men, with almost a third written by a small group of ten white, male historical and well-known European men. The foundation has been carrying out this research for the past 4 years, including in pop and film music, with similar findings.

More events and initiatives will be announced in due course.

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