Musica Femina – An Historic Exhibit in Vienna Celebrates Women Composers

Musica Femina: a model of one of the interactive rooms in the proposed exhibit.

Vienna, Austria has long been heralded as the music capital of the world, because it has been home to many great male composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and Mahler. Soon it will also be the home for an historic art exhibit and multi-media installation about the world’s great female composers called Musica Femina: From the Shadow to the Light.

A sculpture from the Musica Femina Exhibit.

Two visionary curators, Irene Suchy and Clarisse Maylunas, are working to increase awareness of women composers with this ambitious exhibit which will run from July 5 – September 5, 2018 at the Orangerie in Vienna’s Schönbrunn Palace.

Their goal is to shine a light on the unrecognized contributions of female composers in Austria and beyond. In walk-in room and sound installations, visitors will experience the work of past and current female composers ranging from Hildegard von Bingen to Madonna.

After an exhaustive planning phase, which included the creation of a miniature model of the entire exhibit, Musica Femina has found a home at the Orangerie in Schönbrunn Palace, one of Vienna’s great music halls. In fact, the very first concert 6-year-old Mozart gave in Vienna was at the Schönbrunn. A former summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs, the 1,441-room Baroque palace is one of the most important architectural, cultural, and historical monuments in Austria and it is the perfect location to premiere the Musica Femina exhibit.

The Orangerie at Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

Model of one of the Musica Femina rooms.

Staged in 11 rooms, the visitors will embark on a journey through time as they walk through Musica Femina.  They will learn about women who composed in a variety of settings from convents to courts to cabarets and hear samples of their music.  There will be rooms about women composers who suffered under the Nazis, and about women who compose for films.

The final room will have a woman composing live at the exhibit, and her compositions will fill one of the sound sculptures.  You can see pictures of the room designs on their website.>>

While a full list of women to be featured has not yet been shared with the public, Musica Femina promises to highlight the substantial contributions women have made in the fields of composition, arrangement, and instrumentation.  Following its opening in Vienna, Suchy and Maylunas aim to tour the exhibit worldwide.

Learn More – Be A Part of the Exhibit as a Performer or Donor

Learn More – For more information about Musica Femina, please visit the exhibition’s website at .  There is a page in English with more details about the project at

Performing at he Exhibit  – If you would like to perform as part of the exhibit, you can visit their website to obtain guidelines and an application in German>>.  You can contact the organizers to ask for application information in English.

Donating to Musica Femina – The curators are looking for additional partners and funders for this ambitious project.  If you are interested in donating to them, please check out their website and their crowdfunding page>>

Facebook – You can also follow the exhibit on Facebook at