Soprano Gabriella di Laccio is the driving force behind independent UK record label Drama Musica’s Donne: Women in Music. The project garnered worldwide attention recently with its analysis of 15 of the 2018–2019 seasons of the world’s top orchestras – including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra – finding only 2.3 percent of works programmed were written by women. We spoke to Di Laccio about how the Donne project got started, and where it will go from here.

How did the Donne project evolve?

My research for women composers started as a personal interest: finding new repertoire to perform and share with audiences is something I have always enjoyed, so, a couple of years ago, I decided to search for songs composed by women, for a recital I was planning. I had no doubt that I would find plenty of repertoire but what I didn’t expect to find was such a high number of women composers.

Gabriella di Laccio, Women in Music, Women composersSoprano Gabriella di Laccio. Photo © Andres Landino

I bought many books on the subject but one of them was quite a revelation: the International Encyclopedia of Women Composers by Aaron I....