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Women Musical Leaders within the Classical Music Industries

Friday, March 25, 2022 - 11:00 to 16:00

The Women’s Musical Leadership Online Network (WMLON) presents a day considering women’s musical leadership within the classical music industries (conceived as broadly as possible).


11:00am - 11:15am


Welcome to the day and to the AHRC-funded Women’s Musical Leadership Online Network (WMLON):
Laura Hamer (The Open University, PI),
Helen Julia Minors (Kingston University, Co-I),
Laura Watson (Maynooth University, Research Advisor),
Gabriella Di Laccio (Donne Women in Music, Research Advisor).

11:15am - 01:15pm

Panel Discussion of Women Musical Leaders within the Classical Music Industries

This online panel will bring together four women leaders within the contemporary classical music industries (broadly understood):
Diana Ambache (Women of Note),
Ella Jarman-Pinto (Storytelling Composer),
Deborah Keyser (Director, Tŷ Cerdd – Music Centre Wales; President, ISM 2021-22),
Karen Power (Composer/Sounding the Feminists)

01:15pm - 02:00pm

Lunch Break

02:00pm - 04:00pm

Afternoon Workshop with Gabriella Di Laccio (Donne Women in Music)

Gabriella Di Laccio considers her ground-breaking work leading gender equality in music through her work as founder and curator of Donne Women in Music.


All WMLON events are free of charge, but registration is essential. All WMLON events are held online on MS Teams. The link for the event will be sent to all registered delegates.

Register for this event via Eventbrite


Diana Ambache, Women of Note

Diana Ambache was short-listed for the European Women of Achievement Awards (2002) for pioneering the revival of music by historical women. She was the first woman in Britain to run her own classical chamber orchestra; trailblazing concert series have included Old Masters, New Mistresses. Her nine CDs of music by women are issued by Chandos, Naxos and the BBC. They include early recordings of Louise Farrenc and Amy Beach chamber music.

As a pianist, she has given concerts in over 30 countries; as a lecturer she has worked for organisations such as the University of Oxford for Continuing Education; as an author, she has written for various magazines and newspapers, and her book The Soul of the Journey, The Mendelssohns Travels in Scotland and Italy appeared in 2021.

Ella Jarman-Pinto (Storytelling Compose)

Ella is a critically acclaimed storytelling composer, described in 2020 as ‘one of the UK’s most exciting music-makers’ by Classic FM and recognised by Women Of The Year Lunch 2021. In 2021 Ella received BBC Radio 3's flagship commission for International Women's Day. Producer Olwen Fisher, who commissioned Ella, said of the music: 'It is a piece of such power and beauty that it took my breath away.’

Ella focuses her music on storytelling, working with Directors, Writers, Librettists & Poets who reject the phrase ‘this is how things are done here’, and whose stories create positive change. Ella helps to anchor their work in an audience’s mind by creating memorable and emotive music to fit their vision.

Past work includes multi award-winning short film, ‘AstraZeneca - The Attack’, (Havas Lynx, Maker Projects). Ella’s song, ‘This Little Rose’, recorded by Nadine Benjamin and Nicole Panizza in 2019, was described as ‘one of the most memorable songs on this disc’ by Music-Web International.

Current projects include: feature-length documentary, ‘Raising Aniya’, a film about environmental justice on the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast seen through the eyes of Aniya Wingate, a talented 17-year-old Black American dancer; and ‘Animated Futures’, a short animation with Anti-Racist Cumbria and +3k Animation Studios, written by Black and Brown young people on their experiences of growing up “not white” in Cumbria.

Ella is the creator and host of podcast, Beyond The Chameleon: Conversations on Belonging in the Creative Media Industries, speaking to multi-award winning professionals about how we can increase inclusivity in the industry.

In 2020 Ella was a guest lecturer at Cambridge University Music Department, with Richard Causton noting: ‘Your honesty and openness were incredibly refreshing and, as I said, made for an absolutely stunning (and very moving) talk, with - most importantly - such beautiful, authentic music.’

Alongside Katie Beardsworth, CEO of Polyphony Arts, Ella spearheads #WriteUsIntoHistory, a project that aims to protect and promote the legacy of underrepresented composers so that future generations have a wealth of role models in the Classical Music Industry.

Ella is an ambassador for Donne - Women In Music, and her music scores are stocked by Cambridge University Pendlebury Library, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Trinity Laban Jerwood Library, Leeds Conservatoire, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and The British Library; and are available for purchase.

Deborah Keyser, Director, Tŷ Cerdd – Music Centre Wales; President, ISM (2021-22)

Deborah Keyser has been Director of Tŷ Cerdd, Music Centre Wales, since 2016. Tŷ Cerdd’s mission is to promote and celebrate the music of Wales through a range of activities with composers and music-creators and collaborations with organisations and communities.

Welsh born-and-bred, she studied music at Cardiff University and postgraduate Orchestral Studies at Goldsmiths’ College (National Centre for Orchestral Studies), before starting her career working at the BBC (Radio 3 and BBC Music Magazine). A period in orchestral management and opera production followed, as well as a stint at a London news agency – before she moved back to Wales in 2005 to work at Creu Cymru, the development agency for theatres and arts centres in Wales.

Deborah is the current President of the ISM. She is a trustee of Presteigne Festival, Sinfonia Cymru, Friends of BBC NOW and Anthem Music Fund Wales, and a board member of IAMIC (International Association of Music Information Centres).

Karen Power, Composer/Sounding the Feminists

Karen Power is an Irish composer/sound artist, based in Cork, Ireland. Her compositions utilise two primary sources; acoustic instruments and everyday sounds, spaces and soundscapes. Karen's works can be experienced as concert music, sound art, expanded instruments, real+imaginary sonic environments and as multi-sensory moments. Her creative output is diverse, both in its approach and delivery, seeking to capture and translate the essence of an idea through a variety of forms, media and methods of dissemination. For example, recent musical works have been presented as sound installations + multi-sensory walk-through experiences, staged orchestral + ensemble pieces, wordless opera, collaborations between sound and dance, sound and image, free + guided improvisations, solo instrumental works, duets, musical happenings + most recently Augmented/Virtual and Expanded Realities.

Everyday environments and how we hear every day sounds lies at the core of my practice, with a continued interest in blurring the distinction between what we consider ‘music’ and all other sound. Listening and recording throughout the world and discovering the uniqueness of every place through sound allows my work to share, enhance, respect and highlight everyday and extraordinary environmentsin equal measure. Her educational work outside of Tertiary Education focuses on early years and my development of Natural Creators, which aims to harness and shape the natural curiosity of our youngest ears.

Gabriella Di Laccio

Gabriella Di Laccio is an international award-winning soprano, recording artist, curator and activist, who has become one of the leading voices in the fight for equality in classical music. Listed as one of the BBC’s 100 most inspirational and influential women in the world in 2018, Gabriella is also the founder and curator of the Donne Foundation, an internationally recognised initiative that celebrates, advances and amplifies women in music. Recognised by Sir Charles Mackerras as ‘a singer of outstanding talent’, Gabriella is a most unique and innovative artist whose expressive qualities have earned her recognition and praise from international audiences.