International Alliance for Women in Music

The International Alliance for Women in Music (IAWM) aims to celebrate the contributions that all women musicians have made, and continue to make, to music. This coalition of male and female professional composers, performers, conductors, musicologists, librarians, educators and music lovers continually encourage the activities of women in music and seek opportunities to promote gender equality.

In practical ways the International Alliance for Woman in Music encourages the publication and distribution of music by women composers as well as supporting their performance and recordings. The members of the IAWM facilitate communication among themselves and with other like-minded organizations. They work at fostering scholarly research on topics relating to women in music and implement broadcast series, educational programs and competitions.

The International Alliance for Women in Music holds an annual composition competition called “Search for New Music” aimed specifically at woman composers. The eight different prize categories, each with its own monetary award, range from orchestral and chamber music to improvisation and electro-acoustic media. Contestants need to be members of IAWM and may apply for membership at the time of entry into the competition. Rules of the competition require that competitors submit only one piece in one chosen category. The work that is submitted for consideration must be unpublished and may not have won any prior awards. Competitors need to submit two copies of the score and two recordings, either on CD or tape. In the interests of impartiality, all music scores and recordings may only be identified by the title of the piece and with a pseudonym and identifying code relating to the category being entered. The composer’s personal information is to be submitted on a separate piece of paper. Judging is carried out by a panel chosen by the IAWM.Part of the International Alliance for Women in Music’s strategy to give women musicians more prominence is a campaign in which people request their local and Internet radio stations to play a particular work by a woman composer – historical and contemporary – each week. The radio stations that respond favorably to this campaign are declared to be Honored Broadcasters.

Without a doubt, woman in the music world have a wealth of talent which they are more than willing to share with the world. The work of the International Alliance for Women in Music opens up opportunities to do this – to the benefit of all concerned.