At the turn of the twentieth century, when the women’s movement was first beginning to gain ground in Europe, the climate became more favourable for women to show their creative talents. In France, in the field of musical composition, hitherto almost exclusively a male preserve, women succeeded in gaining recognition for their right to equality. Access to the Prix de Rome competition for musical composition illustrates this perfectly: it was created in 1803, but not until 1904 was a woman – Hélène Fleury – allowed to take part, and the first woman to win the Prix de Rome was Lili Boulanger in 1913. At the same time as this institutional recognition, venues opened up to promote the works of women composers such as Mel Bonis, Rita Strohl and Charlotte Sohy.
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