Spotlight on Anna Appleby, Newcastle High School for Girls

As we count down to the GDST Alumna of the Year Award 2018, we’re shining the spotlight on each of our trailblazing finalists. Here, we find out more about Anna Appleby, alumna of Central Newcastle High School (now Newcastle High School for Girls). 


Anna Appleby is a composer who has achieved early acclaim, standing out in a field traditionally seen as a male preserve.


She believes in using music to give voice to the voiceless in society. She has worked extensively with community music groups, including Streetwise Opera, a charity which uses music to empower people who have experienced homelessness. In 2017 she appeared in US Documentary ‘Turning Point’ which featured her work with Streetwise. 


Since graduating in 2016 with a Masters from The Royal Northern College of Music, she has written for everyone from primary school children to amateur choirs to world-leading orchestras, including the Royal Northern Sinfonia, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the orchestra of Dutch National Ballet, and has had her music showcased abroad and on BBC Radio 3. She was the sixth and youngest-ever Music Fellow with Rambert Dance Company, and has premiered works with choreographers at the Southbank Centre, the National Theatre River Stage, Ignition Dance Festival and RADA Studios. She has a first-class degree in Music from St Hilda’s College, Oxford, where she found her vocation as a composer.


Anna continues to champion the work of female composers, including those she teaches. Her goal is to inspire young women and girls to write music, and to write it powerfully, fearlessly, and often.

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