Bushra El-Turk is one of 10 composers with the Academy Second Modernism initiative for women and nonbinary composers in Vienna this year. Photo by David Payr for The New York Times.

In Thursday’s (6/6) New York Times, Valeriya Safronova writes, “In the world of classical music, progress toward gender parity can seem incredibly slow. Recent big wins have included women of the New York Philharmonic being allowed to perform in pants, and the appointment of the second woman—ever—to a music director role at one of the 25 largest orchestras in the United States. The Berlin Philharmonic, one of the world’s great ensembles, hired its first female concertmaster last year. Frustrated by the stubborn gender imbalances in classical music, the directors of the Wiener Festwochen, a prestigious arts festival in Vienna, have this year formed the ‘Academy Second Modernism,’ an initiative that will showcase works by 50 female and nonbinary composers over five years. This season, less than 8 percent of approximately 16,000 works staged by 111 orchestras worldwide were composed by women, according to a report from Donne, Women in Music, an organization working for equity in the classical music industry. Of those works, the vast majority were composed by white women. According to the report, three of the 10 orchestras that performed the highest proportion of works composed by women were in the United States … The 10 Academy Second Modernism composers will join a two-day summit … They plan to work on a joint declaration outlining steps toward creating equity in classical music.”