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This year Oxford Lieder’s Spring Weekend focused on women composers, the countless gifted figures who vanished from our recital stages. OLF’s artistic director Sholto Kynoch invited SWAP’ra to co-curate events for last spring, and going forward as a long-term project to unearth and to give voice to some of these unjustly forgotten composers. In the long term, SWAP’ra will collaborate with Oxford Lieder Festival to create an invaluable online resource for artists and programmers looking to expand their repertoire of women composer’s artsongs. This will include song-focused biographies, links to scores, recordings, texts and translations, programming suggestions, and more.


In the shorter term, we have been busy researching composers and gathering rep, and we look forward to programming a great deal of this work for events at Oxford Lieder this spring and beyond.


All three of the main evening recitals kicked off with a mini-recital slot performed by some of the outstanding young artists who contributed to our inaugural SWAP’ra Forgotten Voices online festival in 2021, presented in association with HERA. These artists presented music by Hedwige Chrétien, Margarete Schweikert, Margaret Bonds, Elizabeth Maconchy, Johanna Müller-Hermann, Betty Jackson-King, Rebecca Clarke, Elaine Hugh-Jones, and many more.


During the daytime recitals, their music was performed live by artists who are established Oxford Lieder regulars and favourites. Over the course of four lecture-recitals, led by the ever-brilliant Natasha Loges, who has been a vital member of the SWAP’ra team researching and curating this project, we celebrated and explored songs by four composers: Hedwige Chrétien, Margarete Schweikert, Elizabeth Maconchy and Johanna Müller-Hermann, showing how their music both fitted into and challenged expectations of song composition in their day.

lecture recitals
with thanks

We are hugely grateful to the following for their financial support towards the research, development and delivery of this project:


The Golsoncott Foundation 

The Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust

The Royal Musical Association

The Wavendon Foundation

The Winship Foundation

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