Leading Women in Music Fund

New fund contributing to Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra productions featuring female conductors and composers.

Leading Women in Music Fund
Barbara Hannigan conducting the Concertgebouw Orchestra (photo: Milagro Elstak)

Striving together for more female conductors and composers at the top. 

The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has made it a top priority to contribute to a stronger representation of female conductors and composers in the world of classical music. Particularly among the leading international symphony orchestras, the trend towards more women in these positions is not necessarily a given.

Over the past decades, the growing number of female orchestra members and soloists at the Concertgebouw Orchestra has been in line with broader societal trends. However, female composers and conductors remain underrepresented in the programming - the numbers are not representative of society.

As a leading international organisation, the Concertgebouw Orchestra takes an active role in encouraging and developing female talent among composers and conductors. In doing so, the orchestra aims to contribute to a balanced gender ratio in the landscape of composers and conductors.

Guiding principles

  • A more equal ratio between male and female composers and conductors enhances the recognizability and accessibility of the orchestra for both current and future audiences.
  • As a leading orchestra, we aim to take responsibility for increasing the number of female role models at the top.
  • We aim to reflect the gender balance in society in our programming and in our choice of conductors.
  • The numerous talented female composers and conductors deserve our special attention. Many female conductors indicate that they started their conducting careers (too) late because there were too few inspiring role models.

Action plan

Naar een bredere vertegenwoordiging van vrouwelijke dirigenten en componisten aan de top

  • The Concertgebouw Orchestra aims to increase the number of female conductors/composers in its programming over the coming decades. In the current 2023-24 season, four female conductors and eleven female composers are featured, compared to three conductors and seven composers in the previous season. Prior to that, there were years with hardly any female conductors.
  • The development of concrete policies in this area is supported and encouraged by the orchestra's Artistic Committee.
  • Scouting for female conductors and composers is an essential part of the policy.
  • Investing in relationships with female conductors and composers (for example, through composition commissions) is equally crucial.
  • These ambitions also apply to repertoire choices and conductors for the Concertgebouworkest Young and the Academy of the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
  • Increasing the visibility of female conductors and composers in the marketing and communication materials of the Concertgebouw Orchestra is a priority.


With your support

In order to realise and promote its ambitions, the orchestra connects with private
donors, companies, funds and foundations involved in this important theme and
wishing to contribute to it.

The Leading Women in Music Fund was created for this purpose. With this new fund we aim to contribute €200,000 annually to productions with female conductors and composers. Your donation to the Concertgebouw Orchestra will then be earmarked for the benefit of these productions.

As a thank you for your donation, we invite you to exclusive meetings and activities of the Concertgebouw Orchestra for Patrons and Patrons +, Fellows and Masters respectively. In addition, a substantive activity is organized once a year for all donors to this new fund around a concert with female conductors/composers.

Ellen Reis
Ellen Reid, composer in residence 2023/2024

Tax Benefit

The Concertgebouw Orchestra holds a cultural ANBI (Public Benefit Organization) status. Thanks to the current favorable tax regulations for cultural Public Benefit Organizations (ANBI), you can give much more to the Concertgebouw Orchestra than it costs you net. Depending on your personal situation, your tax benefit can be up to 45%. More information can be found here on our website.


We also invite companies to connect with this cause. ING, the global partner of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, wholeheartedly supports the fund. Are you considering contributing as a business? This can be done as a corporate partner of the Concertgebouw Orchestra or by becoming a member of our business club, De Salon. Membership in De Salon costs € 5,000 (excl. VAT) x 3 years and comes with various privileges. More information can be found here on our website.

Want to know more?

For more information, please contact the Development department of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. Anne Christin Erbe (Director Foundation Concertgebouworkest) a.c.erbe@concertgebouworkest.nl / t 020 305 10 10.