Some recent research looked at gender representation in America’s top 20 orchestras, represented by 1,833 individual musicians.
An overview of gender representation in the 20 orchestras sampled. The orchestras, on average, have 63% men and 37% women. Only one elite orchestra has more women than men: the St. Louis Symphony.
Whilst the figures for orchestras is “encouraging” in terms of the % of women employed, when it comes to Conductors / Musical Directors only one of the top twenty orchestras has a woman as Conductor, namely Marin Alsop at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and she had to fight considerable opposition from within the orchestra itself when she was appointed as they felt she lacked “gravitas.” (I think what they really meant was that she was not a MAN).
History as shown she has been a resounding success at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and last year was appointed Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra as well as being the first woman to conduct at the Last Night of the Proms in London.
The simple fact is that female conductors are very rarely considered for Conductor / Musical Director posts although in the last few years some strides have been made by such talents as Susanna Malkki, Ha Na Chang and Karna Canellakis. Let us hope this recognition of musical talent continues(and note I did NOT say female talent).
Many of the European orchestras now seem to have a much more “diverse” approach to recruitment of orchestral musicians although a finger could still be pointed at the Berlin Philharmonic and even more so at the Vienna Philharmonic who seem to still be intent on pursuing both misogynistic and, what some have called racist policies when it comes to recruitment e.g. the refusal to recruit any “asiatic’ musicians.
Full original article can be viewed here: http://subyraman.tumblr.com/post/102965074088/graphing-gender-in-americas-top-orchestras