Premieres by women composers on the main stage are still celebrated exceptions. Only 2% of the works included in the concert subscription hail from women. At 9%, the average share of women in the programme reaches its peak – and that’s only in cases of explicitly contemporary concert series. If the development towards equality continues to progress at the same rate as in the past decades, an equitable future will remain a distant prospect.

Vienna is considered the capital of modernism, exemplified in music by Arnold Schönberg’s revolutionary soundscape.
Yet, this modernity remains incomplete: largely European, masculine, elitist.

The Wiener Festwochen, with Nuria Schoenberg-Nono as patron, are globalising modernism, making it more female, and launching it into the boundless waters of the now. Zweite Moderne wants to make good on the promise of modernism at long last, as a global platform of women composers in Vienna.

For each of the 50 female composition students of Schönberg who were forgotten or unheard in the past, the Wiener Festwochen will work together with Arnold Schönberg Center to welcome contemporary women composers from the whole world – in accordance with the number of Schönberg’s female students: 10 per year of the course of 5 years, starting from 2024.

The invited composers will develop strategies of visibility, form networks together and present their own pieces as instigators of the music and theatre landscape of the future. The pieces will be performed by Klangforum Wien.

The aim of Akademie Zweite Moderne (Academy of Second Modernism) is to have cultural institutions, festivals and ensembles involved in making concerts, scenic and performative arts commit themselves to increase the proportion of music that is composed by women in a significant way.

The open call is directed at womxn composers who

  • have expirience composing for ensembles, orchestras or music theatre and wish to present themselves with a piece for max. 12 musicians or artists,
  • are concerned with current developments and tendencies that are socially relevant
  • see themselves as instigators of new, innovative forms of concert and music theatre,
  • engage in a crossover of genres and/or arts (such as performance, visual art, installation, nwe media) with their works,
  • want to develop strategies of visibility together with the other invited composers

Criteria for the performance of the submitted piece

The piece that is to be performed within the framework of Akademie Zweite Moderne can be an existing work, a premiere or an extract from a longer work. The piece that is put forward for performance should not be longer than 20 minutes in duration.

Klangforum Wien will be available for the performance, as well as specific additional instrumentalists as required. In the case of a composition for ensemble and voice, the maximum number of vocalists is 5. The maximum number of persons performing the work totals 12 artists.

Specific technical equipment can be hired. It must be possible for the implementation to be carried out by a person from the Wiener Festwochen technical department and, if necessary, with the support of the composer.


The selection will be made by an external jury in cooperation with the Wiener Festwochen. The application deadline is 8 December, 2023.

Travel and accommodation costs as well as a remuneration of 1200 Euro (brutto) for participation in Akademie Zweite Moderne will be covered. Akademie Zweite Moderne will take place from 7 to 9 June 2024.

If you have any questions please contact
 Jana Beckmann,

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