JULY, 6 2021
Equality & Diversity in Concert Halls | 2020-2021
100 orchestras worldwide
This latest research by Donne – Women in Music has been prepared to get a better understanding of how classical music is responding to the current and very important issue of equality and diversity in concert’s repertoire worldwide. It builds on previous research carried out in 2018/2019 and 2019/2020. The new results presented here were determined by in-depth analysis of composers’ works scheduled for the 2020-2021 season in 100 orchestras from 27 countries.
The results show that only 11.45% of the scheduled concerts worldwide included compositions by women. 88.55% included solely compositions written by men. There has been a small improvement on the overall inclusion of works by women in concerts compared with previous years. But, when we look closely at the numbers, it is a different matter.
Only 747 out of the 14,747 compositions scheduled by the 100 orchestras throughout the 2020-2021 season, were composed by women – a total of 5%.
One alarming fact is that only 1.11% of the pieces were composed by Black & Asian women and only 2.43% by Black & Asian men.
Why is this important right now?
The COVID-19 pandemic has left devastating consequences across the music industry. Under these circumstances, it can be easy to forget and so not prioritise equality and diversity. But, we believe it is now more important than ever to pay attention to these inequalities or risk devastating consequences across gender, race, and class in music for generations.
For equality and diversity to become a reality in our concert halls, it is important that we move beyond tokenism for political correctness and aim for comprehensive and genuine inclusivity to permeate through the layers – that means the artists we see on stage, the repertoire presented in concerts and in our educational syllabuses, the personnel leading organisations and the audiences we are trying to reach.
For centuries, music has been a symbolic glue connecting society and bringing people together irrespective of background.
Music is a powerful instrument of social change. More than ever, our stages and concert halls need to be places of inspiration and inclusion, opening doors to all, irrespective of gender, race and class.
We are a long way from an ideal world, as is shown by the numbers. This research aims to raise awareness and open up conversations to see how we together can make a difference. It is only through collaboration with others who share our values and ambitions that we can make this important shift.
Next time someone tells you that inequality in music is a problem of the past,, check the numbers instead.
Get in touch if you want to be part of making a real positive impact for equality and diversity in music.
Gabriella Di Laccio
Founder & Curator
Donne, Women in Music