In conjunction with Her Music, a 24-hour marathon of pieces by emerging female composers on Sunday, August 24 on online station Q2 Music, New York radio broadcaster WQXR has published a lengthy article examining the status of contemporary female composers. “Even as women have achieved growing parity in the ranks of symphony orchestras and chamber music groups, their numbers suddenly thin out upon scanning the names of composers in a Playbill. Q2 Music has analyzed several key areas in contemporary classical music. In the U.S., women hold only 15% of composition faculty positions; women constitute under 15% of living composers whose works were featured on recent orchestral seasons and new-music series; and in the history of prestigious composition prizes, women obtain top honors only 9% of the time. … There are bright spots of gender balance in the new-music compositional landscape, however. Miller Theatre at Columbia University has brought gender diversity to its Composer Portraits series … The International Contemporary Ensemble’s ICElab … is another example. This year, the League of American Orchestras will administer the first Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation commissions for two women composers in the early phases of their careers.”

Posted August 22, 2014