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Women in Music at Southbank Centre

Southbank Centre is excited to be further developing its Women in Music strand, bringing together women from all spheres of classical and contemporary music to highlight issues faced by female professional musicians today.

We recognise a fundamental need to address the underrepresentation of women in music who often face struggles in gaining the same opportunities, recognition, financial equality and status afforded to their male counterparts.

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So many women in leadership roles here at Southbank Centre have really changed the future for women
Marin Alsop

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And not just for our Classical Season 2020/21. As a Member, get the first chance to book for every one of our events – and you won't have to pay booking fees.

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Learn about how women are being supported in jazz, classical, DJing and more
The conducting superstar delivers expert advice to five talented women conductors

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Andrew Zolinsky, pianist
7:45 pm
Mon 21 Sep 2020
7:45 pm | Mon 21 Sep 2020
classical music
contemporary classical
Copland's epic, visionary Piano Fantasy sits alongside premieres from Carla Bley and Ian Gardiner
Copland's epic, visionary Piano Fantasy sits alongside premieres from Carla Bley and Ian...
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 24 Sep 2020
7:30 pm | Thu 24 Sep 2020
classical music
Two works inspired by an ancient Greek creation story open the Philharmonia Orchestra’s new season
Two works inspired by an ancient Greek creation story open the Philharmonia Orchestra’s new season
Frank Zappa, instrumentalist
7:30 pm
Thu 01 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Thu 01 Oct 2020
classical music
contemporary classical
Aurora Orchestra explores ideas of time from playful to nightmarish with Zappa’s zany masterpiece
Aurora Orchestra explores ideas of time from playful to nightmarish with Zappa’s zany masterpiece
Harriet Tubman: Scenes from a Life on stage

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sat 03 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Sat 03 Oct 2020
performance & dance
A new opera inspired by one of the bravest human beings who ever lived
A new opera inspired by one of the bravest human beings who ever lived
Karina Canellakis, conductor

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sat 03 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Sat 03 Oct 2020
classical music
Follow the London Philharmonic Orchestra between 1812, 1912 and 2012
Follow the London Philharmonic Orchestra between 1812, 1912 and 2012
Isata Kanneh-Mason, musician

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Multi-buy discount

3:00 pm
Sun 25 Oct 2020
3:00 pm | Sun 25 Oct 2020
classical music
Meet a quintessentially Romantic trio with the Philharmonia Orchestra
Meet a quintessentially Romantic trio with the Philharmonia Orchestra
Santtu-Matias Rouvali, conductor

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 29 Oct 2020
7:30 pm | Thu 29 Oct 2020
classical music
Music challenges tyranny in the Philharmonia Orchestra's tribute to the two composers
Music challenges tyranny in the Philharmonia Orchestra's tribute to the two composers
Elim Chan, conductor

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 12 Nov 2020
7:30 pm | Thu 12 Nov 2020
classical music
From the piccolo to the contrabassoon, every musician in the Philharmonia Orchestra gets to shine
From the piccolo to the contrabassoon, every musician in the Philharmonia Orchestra gets to shine
Anoushka Shankar, sitaarist

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Wed 18 Nov 2020
7:30 pm | Wed 18 Nov 2020
classical music
Rediscover a 20th-century musical masterpiece with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Rediscover a 20th-century musical masterpiece with the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Alexander Gavrylyuk, pianist

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sat 28 Nov 2020
7:30 pm | Sat 28 Nov 2020
classical music
The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020 Vision takes in music from 1817, 1917 and 2017
The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2020 Vision takes in music from 1817, 1917 and 2017

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Maybe you’re asking, do women still need to fight for equality in music? Here are some statistics that prove why:

  • 78% of interviewees for PRS Foundation’s Women Make Music initiative said they had experienced sexism in the industry. Many felt pigeonholed, whether as performers rather than producers, or as sex objects rather than artists. Women Make Music Evaluation 2011 - 2016
  • Women only make up 43.2% of British orchestra players but are still underrepresented in principal positions (McClure, Kokot and Scharff, 2014).
  • Only 6.45% of composers at the BBC Proms were female (8 out of 124) and there were only four female conductors out of 62.(Women in Music survey, 2014)
  • Submissions to the 2016 British Composer Awards showed a bias towards male white composers. Only six out of 40 commissions in the Orchestral category were by women.
  • Out of 61 full-member orchestras in the Association of British orchestras, only four had female conductors in titled roles in 2016. There are 100 titled roles for conductors available (James Murphy, Managing Director of Southbank Sinfonia, 2017).
  • In the last 20 years, there have only been three female principal conductors of British orchestras (James Murphy, Managing Director of Southbank Sinfonia, 2017).
  • A survey of 11 artist management companies in Britain showed that out of 393 signed and represented conductors, 371 were male and only 22 were female (5.5%). Many highly experienced and respected female conductors were yet to be signed by artist management (James Murphy, Managing Director of Southbank Sinfonia, 2017)
  • On average only 15% of festival acts are female, while 78% are male (female: pressure, 2015 – 2017)

Southbank Centre is committed to providing forums for women in the music profession to network and creating platforms for women to perform. Women in Music gives opportunities for women to have their music performed and broadcast, and to working with our partners to encourage a balance of female conductors, composers and artists engage in their programmes.

women in music stories

story
Learn about how women are being supported in jazz, classical, DJing and more
story
The celebrated German-Japanese pianist describes her introduction to the Norwegian composer
video
The electronic artist and composer on the inspiration for Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia
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