Rachel Portman: Outlook 'great' for female film composers

13 June 2014, 14:44 | Updated: 22 August 2017, 12:46

Oscar-winning film composer Rachel Portman says the future is looking brighter for women who want to write music for movies.

Portman, who has composed scores for dozens of feature films, was the first female composer to win an Academy Award for film music, with her score for Emma in 1996. She was also nominated for Academy Awards for her scores for The Cider House Rules in 1999 and Chocolat in 2000.

"I've never felt that being a woman has held me back or has made any difference at all," Portman told Classic FM, "and I've never considered myself any different."  

But the composer does acknowledge the fact that traditionally there has been a lack of women composers, including in film. 

Rachel Portman on women film composers

"It has a lot to do with women's role in the family and what we also bear and take on...As traditions are changing maybe we'll see more female film composers and also there are many more people coming through, training now as film composers, many more women. It's going to change which'll be great." 

And the composer had advice for young women thinking about going into film music.

"If you know that it's what you really want to do, because it's hard to break in," she said, "stick with it and stay with it."

Rachel Portman is the guest on Charlotte Green's Culture Club, Sunday 15 June at 3pm.