Ode to Joy, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg © Ella Bats, 2016


En 2018, l’Association Française des Orchestres (AFO) affirme son engagement en faveur de l’égalité par l’adoption d’une Charte pour l’égalité entre les femmes et les hommes au sein des orchestres et des opéras, avec le syndicat d’employeur Les Forces Musicales. La Réunion des Opéras de France rejoint la Charte en février 2023. Le texte est alors élargi aux problématiques spécifiques du ballet et du chœur.

One of the pioneering charters in the performing arts, it sets out 21 recommendations - on observation, programming, artists' careers, communication, support systems and partnerships - to promote equality in orchestras and operas.

Une enquête réalisée par l’AFO sur la représentation des femmes au sein de la programmation des orchestres durant la saison 2020-2021 révèle que seulement 4% des œuvres programmées sont composées par des femmes (contre 3% en 2018-2019). Ce chiffre est sans appel : une partie du répertoire symphonique est quasiment absente de la programmation des orchestres.

In light of this, and in keeping with our commitment, the Association Française des Orchestres has decided to give women composers their rightful place with Unanimes!


Unanimous! - Avec les compositrices is a national initiative dedicated to the promotion of past, present and future female composers and their repertoire. Running throughout the 2023-2024 season, it mobilizes all 42 member orchestras of the Association Française des Orchestres, as well as a vast array of partners, around three main objectives.

(Re)discovering a forgotten musical heritage

It's a fact: women composers are the forgotten members of music history. Still rarely programmed, their works remain relatively unknown to the general public. To enable the public to appreciate the entire symphonic repertoire, the Unanimes! label highlights the works of women composers within the orchestras' programming.

Encouraging vocations among new generations

In France, professional composers have observed that there is a vocational crisis in the field of composition - particularly symphonic composition: few dare to take on the orchestra and its constraints. In fact, fewer French works are premiered than those of other countries.
Unanimes ! therefore wishes to encourage vocations by opening the doors of orchestras to young men and women.

Supporting today's female composers

The works of today's women composers are tomorrow's heritage. Yet women are often in the minority in composition competitions. Supporting women composers today means giving them the visibility they need among artists, professionals and the general public, so that their works can become an integral part of the musical landscape. Through its European composition competition
Unanimes! aims to contribute to the creation of a more diversified symphonic repertoire.

Cette initiative contribue à la réalisation des Cinq Droits de la Musique du Conseil International de la Musique (CIM).

1. The Unanimes ! label

The objectives

  • Promoting women composers and their works to the general public
  • Promoting the presence of women in orchestral programming

During the 2023-2024 season, all performances (symphonic concerts, chamber music, opera, concerts for young audiences, etc.) featuring at least one work by a female composer will be marked with the Unanimes! label.
All outreach activities focusing on female composers and their repertoire will also be marked with the Unanimes! label.
The Unanimes! label will be applied to all communication materials produced by participating orchestras.

Thanks to the label, all audiences can identify the names and works of female composers and define their own route to meet them.

En partenariat avec présence compositrices

2. The mentoring program

The objectives

  • Encouraging young men and women to write for the orchestra
  • Contribute to their training by offering them an opportunity to discover the orchestra and the profession.
  • Creating a French breeding ground for symphonic composers

The mentoring program is open to all interested students in composition classes and specialized institutions from initial to higher education.

Organized as a path of discovery and familiarization with the orchestra, the mentoring program offers privileged access to the orchestra for these young artists throughout the 2023-2024 season.
It is implemented in particular by the 3 institutions in the professionalization chain: the initial conservatories, the higher conservatories and the symphony orchestras.

The mentoring program is available both locally and nationally, in different forms.

In partnership with Maison de la Musique Contemporaine, Orchestre Français des Jeunes and with the support of Sacem

3. The composition competition

The objectives

  • Support the work of women composers by enabling the creation and wide distribution of their works
  • Supporting contemporary creation and enriching the repertoire.

The European composition competition is open to all female composers who are citizens or legal residents of the European Union.

Il viendra récompenser deux œuvres d’une durée de 7 à 10 minutes : une œuvre pour orchestre symphonique et une œuvre pour orchestre de chambre.

The winning works may be performed by several orchestras during the 2024-2025 season and beyond.

En partenariat avec l'Orchestre national du Capitole de ToulousE et avec le soutien de la fondation francis et mica salabert

Our partners