Joanna Borrett Composer

Her Ensemble unveils Joanna Borrett’s ‘Clan’: A fresh adventure across musical genres

A celebration of female composers and a testament to the power of music to tell stories across time and cultures
15 January 2024

Her Ensemble, known for illuminating music composed by women, is set to premiere Joanna Borrett’s Clan for string orchestra, marking a new milestone in cross-genre musical explorations.​ The premiere of Clan is scheduled for the Crosscurrents Festival at the Elgar Concert Hall in Birmingham on 24 February. This event will kickstart a series of live performances across the UK, including venues in Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle.

Composed by Joanna Borrett two years ago, Clan is a narrative work set in the Scottish Highlands, deeply rooted in folk music influences. Spanning ten short movements, it narrates the story of an ancient Scottish clan, weaving a tapestry of emotion and history.

Her Ensemble’s premiere of Clan is a celebration of female composers, a fusion of genres, and a testament to the power of music to tell stories across time and cultures.

Her Ensemble by Tom Lovatt

Her Ensemble’s collaboration with Joanna Borrett aligns with their mission to expand classical music’s canon and foster a more inclusive industry. They aim to spotlight emerging artists like Borrett, who are making significant strides in their careers later in life, and to challenge traditional gender stereotypes in the music industry.

Her Ensemble

Her Ensemble has recently achieved remarkable success, including an EP release with Sony Classical featuring underrepresented works by women composers, garnering over 150,000 streams in its first month. Their diverse portfolio also includes recordings for Netflix, collaborations with Spitfire Audio, and features in various media outlets such as BBC Woman’s Hour​.

Joanna Borrett’s rich musical background includes studying at The Moscow Conservatoire, establishing her professional string orchestra, and being published by notable publishers. Her work has also been recognized in the 2024 ABRSM cello exam syllabus. Borrett is committed to encouraging classically trained string players to compose, offering free weekly improvisation lessons on her Facebook page.

Recorded by Her Ensemble in July 2003, Clan is set for digital release in February by The State 51 Music Group. To commemorate the world premiere, 100 vinyl LPs of Clan will also be produced.

Joanna Borrett’s cello and piano books, including Clan and Folk and Beyond, are available for purchase, offering a deeper dive into her musical world.