'The Women Who Score' Concert, Featuring Award-Winning Female Composers Set For Aug. 19

Rachel Portman photographed in London.
Nigel R. Barklie/REX/Shutterstock

Rachel Portman photographed in London.

Female composers will step into the spotlight on Aug. 19 when The Alliance For Women Film Composers presents “The Women Who Score: Soundtracks Live,” an evening of live music as part of Downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Performances series.

The concert will highlight music written by women from film, television, video games and interactive media.

Presented in association with The Film Music Society, the concert comes at a time when The Alliance and other organizations, such as Women In Film and the Guild of Music Supervisors, are working toward greater participation by women in music: in 2015 women scored fewer than 2 percent of the top 250 films.

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“We really believe that one of the reasons more women have not ascended to higher-budgeted, wider-released films is the lack of exposure, particularly when it comes to orchestral music,” says four-time Emmy winner Laura Karpman, who also serves as president of The Alliance For Women Film Composers. “This concert gives us a fantastic showcase for our work.”

Among the composers whose music will be performed by a 45-piece orchestra are late Emmy Award Winner Shirley Walker (Batman: The Animated Series), Academy Award winner Rachel Portman (The Cider House Rules), Karpman (Underground), Emmy Award winners Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman (Heroes), Emmy Award winner Lolita Ritmanis (Marvel’s Avengers Assemble), Kathryn Bostic (Dear White People), Heather McIntosh (Compliance), Academy Award-nominated songwriter Diane Warren (“Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground), Grammy winner Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum (Stockholm Pennsylvania), Germaine Franco (Dope), Julia Newmann (Bones), Lesley Barber (Manchester by the Sea), Lili Haydn (Anita), Grammy winner Nan Schwartz (In the Heat of the Night), Penka Kouneva (Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands), Sharon Farber (The Young and the Restless), Starr Parodi (G.I. Joe: Renegades), Wendy Blackstone (Crude) and Miriam Cutler (Ethel).  Many of the composers are expected to attend. 

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The free concert takes place at the WaterCourt Stage at California Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles. It comes on the heels of Women In Film forming a music committee last month, headed by music supervisor Tracy McKnight, to develop and explore opportunities for female composers.

The Alliance hopes this is the first of many concerts highlighting female composers. “We very much want to be a part of the growing world of film music concerts and festivals. Many of us have already had our work showcased in these festivals, but we hope to take this concert to film festivals,” Karpman says.