Dallas Symphony Orchestra announces fifth annual Women in Classical Music Symposium

November 12-15, 2023

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center | Dallas, Texas

Symposium to honor Nicola Benedetti with Award of Excellence

DALLAS, TEXAS (March 8, 2023) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Ross Perot President & CEO Kim Noltemy today announced the dates and selected programming and appearances for the fifth annual Women in Classical Music Symposium. The symposium will be held at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas, from November 12 through 15, 2023. Support for the symposium is provided by The Eugene McDermott Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, the Texas Women’s Foundation, Nancy Bierman, Yon Jorden, Betty Regard, Wei Ling Wang and Martha Wells. The Symposium is $150 for full registration, $50 for students and scholarships are available to assist in attendance. Registration is available on the DSO’s website.

The DSO’s Women in Classical Music Symposium is the only formal gathering to discuss issues specific to women in the field of classical music. Since its launch in 2019, the symposium has featured panel discussions and presentations from leading women in the industry, including conductors, composers, performers, educators and administrators. These individuals have shared their experiences on a range of topics from gender bias and discrimination to the importance of representation and diversity in classical music. The symposium has encouraged authenticity, vulnerability and sharing which is widely adopted by the speakers and attendees.

 “We are thrilled that so many participants have gathered in Dallas through the years for these conversations,” said Noltemy. “By bringing together top and emerging leaders in classical music and beyond, the symposium has sparked important dialogue and helped to drive positive change. It has also provided a platform to share experiences and perspectives, which serve as inspiration and guidance for future generations of women in the field.”

This year’s event will open with the keynote discussion “Music for Survival: Stories of Ukrainian Musicians” on Sunday, November 12. Noltemy will lead a conversation with Ukrainian conductor Kirill Karabits and Ukrainian composers Victoria Vita Polevá and Anna Korsun, the artists featured in the concert earlier that evening.

The balance of the symposium will include topics such as normalizing diversity and representation in organizations and amplifying voices of unique and varying perspectives. This year there is a particular emphasis on allies and champions, shining a light on relationships that have endured through many years and organizational changes to be beneficial for both members.

“Mentorship and support is crucial to success,” said Noltemy. “Looking closely at these relationships and highlighting successful partnerships helps us all see that we are not alone nor do we have to handle challenging situations alone.” The central presentation at each Women in Classical Music Symposium is the Award of Excellence. This is presented to a woman in the field who has paved the way for others and is investing in the future of the industry. This year’s awardee is violinist Nicola Benedetti.  GRAMMY Award-winner, Festival Director of the Edinburgh International Festival and fervent champion of contemporary music, Benedetti makes education a core part of her artistry and career. In 2019, she established The Benedetti Foundation which delivers transformative experiences through mass music events and unites those who believe music is integral to life’s education. Led by Nicola and a team of exceptional musicians and educators from across the world, the Foundation provides equal access to music participation and appreciation for all. In its first three years, the Foundation has reached over 50,000 people, ages 2-92, from 103 countries.

“We have hosted Nicola in Dallas many times,” said Noltemy, “and in addition to her exhilarating performances on our stage, she brings her time and talent to our youngest musicians. She is a complete artist with an eye on the future, from the performers who will play the music to the composers who are adding to the violin and orchestral repertoire. We are delighted to honor her at this year’s event.”

Details on the 2023 Women in Classical Music Symposium are available at womeninclassicalmusic.com, and will continue to be updated as new details and events are announced.


The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Fabio Luisi, presents more than 150 orchestra concerts at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, one of the world’s top-rated concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. As part of its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 243,000 adults and children annually through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The orchestra offers more than 200 outdoor chamber concerts in neighborhoods throughout Dallas each year, as well as continuing online music lessons to more than 700 students as part of its Young Strings and Young Musicians programs.

The Dallas Symphony has used digital and broadcast media to share music beyond its geographic boundaries and has become a leader among American orchestras in digital distribution. In 2021, the DSO presented a three-concert broadcast series with Bloomberg Media, reaching over 5 million viewers globally. In October 2021, PBS stations across the country began airing Una sinfonía, dos orquestas, a program that documented the historic May 2021 performance of Mahler’s First Symphony, a Luisi-led collaboration between the DSO and musicians from The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in. That program was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award in May 2022. The DSO also captures and streams concert performances for distribution online through its Next Stage Digital Concert Series, Presented by PNC Bank. Programs are available on the DSO’s website at watch.dallassymphony.org.

La DSO tiene una tradición que se remonta a 1900 y es una piedra angular del exclusivo distrito artístico de 118 acres del centro de Dallas, que alberga múltiples salas de artes escénicas, museos y parques, el mayor distrito de este tipo en el país. La DSO se financia, en parte, con fondos de la Oficina de Arte y Cultura de la ciudad de Dallas.


Denise McGovern | Vicepresidenta de Comunicación y Medios | Orquesta Sinfónica de Dallas
d.mcgovern@dalsym.com | 214.717.7094