How can we improve life for women in music?

Women in music, as in so many areas of Western life, struggle to gain the same opportunities, status and financial equality as their male counterparts.

It’s a problem that Southbank Centre recognises and has sought to address by supporting initiatives aimed at female musicians.

So we are very excited to be further developing our Women in Music strand, bringing together women from all spheres of classical and contemporary music to highlight issues faced by female professional musicians today.

Hear from some of our pioneering artists and find out about our work to highlight and address gender imbalance across different genres of music through these short films.


‘There’s just something about women encouraging other women and joining forces to learn together’

Women in Music: Scratch Female DJ Collective

The Scratch Female DJ Collective was set up to address the lack of supportive spaces for women to learn DJing, with members finding out about everything from setting up the equipment and using the decks to beat-matching and the science of soundwaves.



‘I think we’re beginning to feel more empowered’

Louder Voices Choir | Women in Music

The Louder Voices Choir is a project for women over 60. Hear members discuss how the opportunity to socialise with other women their age in a fun and creative setting has improved their lives.


‘It’s not often in London that there’s a space where women can come along and improvise and play together’

Tomorrow's Warriors Female Collective | Women in Music

Tomorrow’s Warriors Female Collective is a jazz ensemble putting talented women centre stage. They credit the support of Southbank Centre in helping them get to where they are today.


‘Instruments don’t have genders’

Women in Music Women of the World Orchestra

Listen as musicians who are members of the WOW Orchestra talk about the joy of playing in an all-women ensemble.

There are plenty of Women in Music events to look forward to over the coming months, from world premieres by female composers to performances by world-class musicians in numerous genres.

find out more

Imagine Children's Singing Course

Southbank Gamelan Players

Southbank Gamelan Players, Ensemble in Residence at Southbank Centre, was founded in 1987. Collaborating with dancers, puppeteers and composers from Indonesia, Europe and the USA, the group has established an international reputation for its performances of traditional Javanese repertoire and its championing of new music for gamelan

The group has commissioned and collaborated with a wide range of musicians including Björk (MTV Unplugged)Alec Roth and Salvatore Sciarrino (ISCM World Music Days).

Notable performances have included the BBC Proms (1998) with artists from STSI Surakarta, an all-night wayang kulit with Ki Purbo Asmoro (2007); collaborations with contemporary choreographers and dancers including Mark Morris Dance Group (Edinburgh Festival)Wayne McGregor and Kenneth Tharp; new British gamelan music at the International Gamelan Festival in Malaysia (2009); and an Arts Council England tour (2010) of Southbank Centre commission Rubber Time, a collaboration between Indonesian composer Rahayu Supanggah, SbGP and electronica duo Plaid.

They premiered SENDRATARI, a Javanese dance-drama featuring shadow-puppetry and multi-media choreographed by Matheus Wasi Bantolo and featuring artists from ISI Surakarta at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in July 2013.

Foster a Dragon

Southbank Centre is home to a second bronze gamelan named ‘Sekar Tunjung Sari’.

This is a portable slendro gamelan commissioned from gamelan maker Tentrem Sarwanto in Surakarta, Java in 2004. This gamelan is used primarily for outreach work in schools, hospitals and prisons as well as for performances at Southbank Centre.

If you would like to foster our gamelan for use at your own institution, please email any enquiries or telephone: 020 7921 0767.

Stories through sound: sound design with School of Noise

Micro Cinema Theatre

Natural Religion

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Voicelab Big Sing: Haydn's The Creation

Open performance: Women's Conducting Masterclass with Marin Alsop and BBC Concert Orchestra

Women's Conducting Masterclass with Marin Alsop and the BBC Concert Orchestra