Nia Franklin on Supporting Female Composers

Nia Franklin on Supporting Female Composers



tell us a bit about something you're working on now which is is much on our my interior Lincoln Center is female composers female composers and encouraging and supporting and getting behind that in thoughtful ways the the New York Philharmonic just announced a program called Project 19 which is a 19 new Commission's from female composers to celebrate the anniversary of the 19th amendment and so I think you know there there is a swing towards encouraging this tell us about why how you think we can move the needle and and what what you're thinking about in that space yeah I think it really is all about awareness like I said from personal experience I didn't just I just didn't understand at a young age that I could be a composer it didn't even seem like a possibility to me so my goal when I'm going to different schools and I'm talking to different heads of of whether it's symphonies different opera companies and institutions I really am urging them to make sure they're connecting with not only musicians and and different people they want to engage with in their communities but also little girls out there who may not know that this is a path for them and little boys too I mean had I been a boy or maybe I wouldn't have known about composition at a young age either but as I kind of grew up and was going into my field I realized that hey there's not that much there's not really a network where we can there's not a strong place or institution where I can say wow if I go here I know I can be supported by other women that we would that we don't really have that especially not nationally and and also I just know that I've been discouraged a couple of times throughout my career it's a female composer and I know I'm not the only one and you know I can count on my hand how many african-american composers that I know let alone female ones and that's a problem that's something I want to change I want to inspire other other people that are coming up whether they're in college or whether they're in elementary school I want to inspire them to know they can do this when I was auditioning for undergraduate schools I remember going to one of them in the wintertime and I was I had one of my compositions up and we're looking through and talking about my style and that sort of thing and I remember the person saying you have the same looking at my stuff saying you have the same chance of being a composer as an NFL football player and I had a lot of resilience like then I mean if somebody were to say that to you today I think I would just be crushed I don't know but you know as a 17 year old I was like oh whatever that's just one opinion and I'm so glad that I had that attitude but what about people that might have that kind of discouragement that don't have that attitude who are they gonna turn to and so that's um I'm developing something an institution organization a network called compose her that I really want to serve as a place where women can come together and be able to feel like they have that support that I didn't always have you

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