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How many women composers were included?

Women in Music recently conducted a survey of some orchestras and festivals in Britain, with reference to their programming of women composers in the last 5 years. This was part of an EU "Culturegates" project, co-ordinated by the Fondazione Donne in Musica in Italy. Here are the results we were able to obtain from those who replied to our request for info.

(In all cases, works repeated in the same concert within a few days, are not counted more than once).

LONDON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA (Oct 1997 - Oct 2002)

Total music works played: 640
Works by women: 8 [1.3%]

Works written in last 50 years:
Total: 124
Women: 8 [6.5%]

Number of living composers based in Britain
Men: 9
Women: 1

 

LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA (Oct 1997 - Oct 2002)
(London seasons only)

Total music works played: 433
Works by women: 4 [0.9%]

Works written in last 50 years:
Total: 49
Women: 4 [8%]

Number of living composers based in Britain
Men: 8
Women: 0

 

HALLE ORCHESTRA (Manchester) (Oct 1997 - Oct 2002)

Total music works played: 820
Works by women: 1 [0.12%]

 

LONDON SINFONIETTA (Oct 1996 - Oct - 2001)

Total music works played: 669
Works by women: 22 [3.3%]

Works written in the last 50 years
Total: 525
Women: 21 [4%]

Number of living composers based in Britain
Men: 86
Women: 11

 

THE BBC PROMS FESTIVAL SEASON (Summer 1997 - 2002)

Total number of composers: 722 (number of works unknown)
Women composers: 18 (25 works) [2.5%]

Number of living composers based in Britain
Men: unknown
Women: 6

 

HUDDERSFIELD FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC (1997 - 2001)

Total music works played: 871
Works by women: 49 [5.6%]

Number of living composers based in Britain
Men: unknown
Women: 18

 

Putting into context:

The British Music Information Centre represents 2,713 composers, of whom 310 are women. This is 11.4% of composers based in Britain.

Many thanks to the orchestras and festivals who responded to requests for information.
Since some of the other orchestras and festivals who did not respond were in the regions, this has resulted in an un-looked-for bias towards London organisations.

Survey conducted by Jenny Fowler ­ with special thanks to Margaret Lucy Wilkins, who did the stats for Huddersfield. (Jennifer Fowler is a composer and a founder member of WiM).