Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music - Sunday 9 March 2014

The great women composers are under the spotlight tonight as Catherine Bott explores some of the best and most neglected music ever written.

Catherine Bott reflects on United Nations International Women's Day, which happened yesterday - Saturday 8 March 2014. The theme this year has been 'Inspiring Change - challenging the status quo for women's equality'. 

At a time when there is so much discussion about the role and prominence of women in classical music, Catherine looks at the significant - and often overlooked - mark made on musical history by great women composers. 

Starting in the early 12th century with the remarkable Hildegard von Bingen, Catherine's journey takes in such relatively famous names as Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann, the innovative compositions of Amy Beach, Lili Boulanger and Germaine Tailleferre, a suffragette anthem from Dame Ethel Smyth (pictured), and comes right up to date with music from Judith Bingham, who is currently the world's most frequently performed living woman composer.