Symphony Nova Scotia announces Dr. Jane Gordon’s “Maria Anna Mozart Award” for Canadian women composers

The Symphony’s new Maria Anna Mozart Award is the first of its kind in Canada to help promote and support the work of women composers.

Halifax, NS – Symphony Nova Scotia is proud to announce the new Maria Anna Mozart Award to support the work of Canadian women composers.

This new award will provide funds of up to $10,000 every three years for the orchestra to commission and perform a new symphonic work by a Canadian woman. It is made possible through the generosity of Halifax resident and Symphony supporter Dr. Jane Gordon.

Dr. Gordon taught Sociology and Women’s Studies in Halifax for almost 40 years, with research publications in numerous academic journals and books. She is a longtime Symphony Nova Scotia attendee, and has a keen interest in the role of women in classical music.

“My research has shown that women are not fully integrated into the curricula of music education,” says Dr. Gordon.

“Music by women composers isn’t being taught, so it isn’t being learned. And because it’s not learned, it’s not played, or recorded, and that means it isn’t heard – and then it isn’t taught. And the cycle continues.”

Dr. Gordon’s endowment through the Symphony Nova Scotia Foundation will provide funding to support the Maria Anna Mozart Award, which will be administered by Symphony Nova Scotia and a committee of community volunteers.

Women’s creativity in classical music continues to be an almost invisible part of the symphonic repertoire,” says Dr. Gordon. “This award is one attempt to correct the imbalance.”

The prize will enable Symphony Nova Scotia to commission and then perform an original composition by an emerging or established Canadian woman composer. Applications for the first new commission are being accepted now, with a performance of the winner’s new work planned for March 8 (International Women’s Day), 2018.

“The Symphony is very grateful to Dr. Jane Gordon for arranging this important legacy for original Canadian compositions,” says Symphony CEO Chris Wilkinson.

“We are proud to be the first Canadian orchestra to administer an award that seeks to address gender inequality in the commission, creation, and performance of symphonic music.”

More information and details on how to apply for the award can be found at

About Symphony Nova Scotia
Symphony Nova Scotia is Nova Scotia’s orchestra. Each year more than 50,000 audience members (including 15,000 young music lovers) join us in communities across Nova Scotia for performances of the music they love – from baroque and classical to pop and rock and folk. Under the inspirational leadership of Music Director Bernhard Gueller, Symphony Nova Scotia is one of the most broadcast orchestras in the country, with over 20 commercial releases and multiple East Coast Music Awards. Visit to learn more, listen online, or get tickets today!