A piece by Matthew Moore, Media Correspondent, in today’s Times:
The BBC Proms will have a 50-50 gender balance for contemporary composers by 2022, it has been announced.
The summer season of concerts, which were first staged in 1895, will feature more performances of works composed by women as part of a drive towards equality in the arts.
Forty-five international music festivals and conferences, including Cheltenham Music Festival, Aldeburgh Festival and Manchester Jazz Festival, yesterday pledged to achieve or maintain equality within five years.
David Pickard, director of the Proms, said: “Achieving a 50-50 gender balance of contemporary composers performed at the BBC Proms is something we have been committed to for some time and consider vital to the creative development of the world’s largest classical music festival.”
The pledge will not apply to historical classical composers. [J4MB emphasis. Shame. I’d have liked to have seen the public response to Myfanwy Jones, one-legged black Welsh lesbian (five box ticks – disability, colour, nationality, sex, sexuality) getting equal billing with Beethoven.]
The move was announced by the music funding charity PRS Foundation as part of its Keychange initiative, which aims to empower women in the music industry.
Vanessa Reed, chief executive of PRS Foundation, said: “The Keychange network of female artists and industry professionals and the festival partners’ idea of establishing a collective pledge will significantly accelerate change. I hope that this will be the start of a more balanced industry which will result in benefits for everyone.” [J4MB: Everyone but male modern composers, and lovers of classical music. Totally accepted collateral damage in order to give money to talentless female modern composers unable to get exposure at serious music events other than through gender quotas.]