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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Membership at Southbank Centre means priority booking for gigs and concerts, and a Members-only Cafe-Bar on the top floor of Royal Festival Hall.

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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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Angela Hewitt, classical pianist

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Tue 26 Feb 2019
7:30 pm | Tue 26 Feb 2019
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
This beautifully programmed recital demonstrates Angela Hewitt’s affinity with the Baroque
This beautifully programmed recital demonstrates Angela Hewitt’s affinity with the Baroque
Soprano Marianne Crebassa

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 28 Feb 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 28 Feb 2019
Classical music
Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts an evocative programme full of personal connections.
Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts an evocative programme full of personal connections.

Free

Free

5:30 pm
Fri 15 Mar 2019
5:30 pm | Fri 15 Mar 2019
Gigs
Folk & World
Singing in beguiling close harmony, the ensemble reworks folktales old and reveals folktales new
Singing in beguiling close harmony, the ensemble reworks folktales old and reveals folktales new
Xian Zhang.Harrison Parrott.HMU Elizabeth Rita / assistant Mariona Vilaros / studio Ermine London.15 October 2015

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Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sun 31 Mar 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 31 Mar 2019
Classical music
Orchestra
Experience Shostakovich’s towering Fifth Symphony and Brahms’ radiant Violin Concerto
Experience Shostakovich’s towering Fifth Symphony and Brahms’ radiant Violin Concerto

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sat 11 May 2019
7:30 pm | Sat 11 May 2019
Classical music
Orchestra
Discover one of the richest emotional experiences in classical music
Discover one of the richest emotional experiences in classical music
Photo showing a member of Sweet Little Mystery kneeling on the floor with her dress spread out around her
7:45 pm
Tue 14 May 2019
7:45 pm | Tue 14 May 2019
Gigs
Jazz & Blues
Feel the emotional power of Sarah Jane Morris’ magnificent soul voice interpreting John Martyn
Feel the emotional power of Sarah Jane Morris’ magnificent soul voice interpreting John Martyn
States of Independence

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Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Fri 31 May 2019
7:00 pm | Fri 31 May 2019
Classical music
Orchestra
Rally around the definitive musical celebration of freedom and liberty
Rally around the definitive musical celebration of freedom and liberty

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

5:00 pm
Sun 02 Jun 2019
5:00 pm | Sun 02 Jun 2019
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
Hear transcendental, electronica-infused works by Stockhausen for percussion and two pianos
Hear transcendental, electronica-infused works by Stockhausen for percussion and two pianos

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Sun 02 Jun 2019
7:30 pm | Sun 02 Jun 2019
Classical music
Orchestra
Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti interprets Bruch’s First Violin Concerto
Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti interprets Bruch’s First Violin Concerto
7:30 pm
Thu 13 Jun 2019
7:30 pm | Thu 13 Jun 2019
Classical music
Contemporary Classical
Chineke! bring their spirited approach to performing the great classics in this concert
Chineke! bring their spirited approach to performing the great classics in this concert

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.

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