We know what you first thought was: Is there someone campaigning in favour of female mediocrity?! What's that supposed to mean?!
In an article posted by the Musicians' Union as part of their guest blogs, Christine Anderson explains her point. This viola player, who's a member of Her Ensemble, as well as an orchestral and chamber musician, shares her experiences and thoughts on women and diversity within the classical music industry in a thought provoking article that starts like this:
The classical music industry is changing. Admittedly, the pace could generously be described as glacial: according to Donne - Women in Music, in the 2021-22 season, across 111 orchestras in 31 countries, just 7.7% of pieces played were by women, of which 5.5% were white (while 27.5% of pieces were by the same ten historical, white European men).
But this is at least a slight improvement on the previous year, where just 5% of compositions were by women. And out with the big, established...
It is not easy to define the sense of spectacle in classical music. Precision and speed are always a thing of wonder, yes, but the musician cannot leave behind the act of performing, of giving a character to the interpretation. Yuja Wang knows this very well, and it shows every time she sits in front of her piano.
During an interview with Los Angeles Times in 2017, she was asked about what alternative career she would have picked if she wasn’t a prodigy pianist. Her answer was: “For me, playing music is about transporting to another way of life, another way of being. An actress does that.” With that perspective, you can see the character she plays live; with the thrill of spectacle running in her fingers, her deliberated fashion choices that infuse a Hollywood glam flavour to the stage, and her empathetic approach to her repertoire.
Her brilliant and inspiring career surely comes as motivation to find our own character on stage and play its role in a musical...
Help Musicians UK and Musicians Union have helped funding the PiPA (Parents in Performing Arts) Classical Music Survey, which aims to identify patterns in job and working environments in relation to work-life balance, and develop practical strategies and resources for Classical Music organisations to better support parents and carers, and the wider workforce.
The survey was developed in partnership with Association of British Orchestras, Liverpool Philharmonic, SWAP’ra, Black Lives in Music and UK Music. It will investigate the impact of caring responsibilities on career progression as well as wider worklife balance and wellbeing challenges in Classical Music.
The survey will provide data driven insights to enable PiPA to develop a range of strategies and resources for the Classical Music sector to empower organisations to better support parents, carers and the wider workforce.
PiPA wants to hear from people from all backgrounds...