Skip to main content

A student playing a violin

The Music Department, with partners across Durham University, is hosting an exciting series of events to mark International Women’s Day 2024. At the heart of our programme are two concerts celebrating women’s achievement in music.

On Thursday 29 February, St John’s College is the venue for the Music Department International Women’s Day 2024 Showcase, featuring the best of new chamber compositions from Durham students, plus opportunity to discover artists whose work has historically been undervalued on account of gender.

Among the highlights is the premiere of “the wife; the Woman” by Durham composer Georgie West. Specially commissioned and performed by Bailey Chamber Orchestra (conducted by Philip Keller), the piece is inspired by the life and work of Austrian composer Alma Mahler.

And on Wednesday 6 March, St Mary’s College hosts These Things Shall Be: Ailsa Dixon, a concert celebrating the revival of interest in the composition work of Durham University alumna Ailsa Dixon (1932–2017).

The series also includes two events focused on the work of iconic composer, performer, teacher, philosopher, technological innovator and humanitarian, Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016).

Monday 4 March sees a screening and Q&A discussion of the documentary Deep Listening: The Story of Pauline Oliveros by Daniel Weintraub (2022). The film compellingly explores Oliveros’ work, and the “deep listening” concept she invented, as feminist activism.

And as part of the Music Department’s regular Research Forum series, on Tuesday 27 February, Dr Ed McKeon (Birmingham School of Media) leads a workshop outlining Oliveros’s practice and introducing the Extreme Slow Walk as a preparatory exercise for “deep listening.”

The series concludes with two events featuring discussion from postgraduate and undergraduate researchers, and Durham staff, discussion themes of music and gender and women in music studies.

To avoid disappointment, please see our events page and reserve your free tickets for individual events.

With thanks to Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC), Durham Student Music, Durham University EDI Fund, Institute of Advanced Study, MUSICON, St John’s College, and St Mary’s College.

For further information, please contact Samuel Horlor at