2019-2020 Season Follow Up

2019-2020 Season Follow Up

We recently posted our initial findings for the data we collected from the 2019-2020 season, and have received many comments and questions, and I’ll answer as many as I can! We were asked was any composer besides Beethoven had more works performed than the total number of works by women composers.  The short answer is no.  The longer, more complicated answer is that Mozart came close (at almost 5% of all the works being heard) and that just a handful of 20 dead, white, male composers make up over 50% of all the total programming.  This pie graph is dizzying,…

Featured Guest Blogger: Could an Academic Conference pass the Bechdel Test?

We welcome Dr. Penny Brandt to Feminist in the Concert Hall!  She is a musicologist who recently completed a Ph.D. Dissertation on composer Elsa Olivieri Sangiacomo Respighi, and who is known for her leadership role with the Hartford Festival of Women Composers.    This past weekend, I attended the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society and the Society for Music Theory, which were held together at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Antonio. Significant changes have been made over the last few years in order to improve access to and inclusion at the conference, both in terms of structure…

A View from Germany: Classical Music is so Sexist

Inge Kloepfer‘s striking article “So sexistisch ist die Klassik  — Classical Music is So Sexist” appeared on June 13, 2018 in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.  We wanted English-speaking readers to be able to read this important journalism, so we asked Elizabeth Osman to translate it for us, and then I polished her translation.  Thank you to Inge Kloepfer for permission.   (Liane Curtis)   “If enough castrati were available, women would not even have roles as singers: in the classical music establishment, the obstinate patterns of perceptions maintain that feminine can be merely the muse, while genius is only masculine.”   The…

NPR on Female Composers At The Symphony (and the lack thereof)

As Women’s Philharmonic Advocacy celebrates the 10th anniversary of our founding, and continues to celebrate the important work of The Women’s Philharmonic, who performed and promoted music by women throughout the 23 years of their existence (1981-2004) we are always happy to hear media attention being given to our central issue, of women composers, and their under-representation in the concert hall. Thus, we are excited to share this story by NPR’s Tom Huizinga on the scarcity of female composers in classical music programming.  This is a great story, with interview clips and music excerpts from a range of important living…