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PROMS REPORT 2011
Composers: 7/112 (6.2%)
Living composers: 5/33 (15.1%)
Conductors: 1/63. (1.8%)
Instrumental soloists: 15/60 (25%)
The women composers are: Sally Beamish (BBC commission); Judith
Bingham; Sofia Gubaidulina; Hildegard of Bingham; Elizabeth Maconchy;
Judith Weir (BBC commission); Stevie Wishart (BBC commission).
The conductor is Stevie Wishart conducting her own folk/chamber
To analyse the figures although 7 women composers represents
the high end of any previous total, a closer look shows that only
one of the works by a woman features in an evening concert in the
Royal Albert Hall. And that one work is a 4 minute fanfare!
In recent years the BBC has been extending the series of main evening
concerts in the RAH by having chamber daytime concerts in the Cadogan
Hall, or afternoon concerts in the RAH. The audiences at the Cadogan
are obviously very much smaller than the RAH which holds about 6000.
It is disappointing to note that all the women composers (except
the 4 min fanfare) are daytime concerts 5 in the Cadogan,
and one in an afternoon organ recital in the RAH. This partly reflects
the perception of a smaller audience for contemporary pieces, so
lets take a look at living male composers who ARE being performed
at the evening concerts in the RAH: There are 19 of these! So the
score for women/men in evening concerts in RAH:
1 (at 4 mins)/ 19 (mostly substantial orchestral pieces of 20
So no chance of women catching up at this rate......
To put the figures in context, I decided to survey the September
December season of concerts at the Southbank Centre (which
has 3 major concert halls). The figures for that are:
Composers: 4/114 (3.5%)
Living composers: 4/29 (14%)
Conductors; 2/48 (4.1%)
These figures are very much the same as for the BBC Proms.