In a unique symposium under the curatorship of Adelaide-based composer and academic, Anne Cawrse, a day was spent on 19 June celebrating women composers. The evening orchestral concert presented by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra presented a generous selection of works by 20th-century and contemporary Australian composers. Although there have always been very fine women composers, they have generally received far less acclaim the their male companions. In a brilliantly programmed concert, featuring composers well-known and less so, we have a cause for celebration. In her welcoming introduction, Cawrse explained that this was only the second time that such a program of music had been presented; the other had taken place 30 years ago. So it was highly propitious to see that this occasion attracted a full house and delivered such fine performances.

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra performing the evening concert at She Speaks. Photograph © Claudio Raschella

Presented without interval, proceedings got under way with Dulcie Holland’s Festival Flourish(1965). Although she remains key to music education, Holland was a gifted composer who managed to combine a career and parenthood. A graduate of...