Women in Music | Southbank Centre

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.

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

Join our Women Of The World Orchestra 

Play alongside and network with professional section leaders in the WOW orchestra, as part of a special year-long education opportunity.

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Members are first in line for tickets 

It costs as little as £60 to join our community of art lovers and enjoy a range of benefits across Royal Festival Hall, Hayward Gallery and beyond.

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The conducting superstar delivers expert advice to five talented women conductors

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7:45 pm
Tue 29 May 2018
7:45 pm | Tue 29 May 2018
Classical music
Contemporary Classical
Hear world premieres of new works for string quartet.
Hear world premieres of new works for string quartet.

Free

Free

6:00 pm
Thu 07 Jun 2018
6:00 pm | Thu 07 Jun 2018
Classical music
Contemporary Classical
The culminating concert of the Philharmonia Orchestra's Academy
The culminating concert of the Philharmonia Orchestra's Academy

Free

Free

5:30 pm
Fri 08 Jun 2018
5:30 pm | Fri 08 Jun 2018
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
Kick off your Friday evening with dynamic soprano and marimba duo Percussing
Kick off your Friday evening with dynamic soprano and marimba duo Percussing
Teatro di San Carlo  SOLISTA E DIRETTORE  HAN-NA CHANG

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 14 Jun 2018
7:30 pm | Thu 14 Jun 2018
Classical music
Orchestra
The Philharmonia is joined by conductor Han-Na Chang for a special Korea-UK concert
The Philharmonia is joined by conductor Han-Na Chang for a special Korea-UK concert

Free

Free

5:30 pm
Fri 29 Jun 2018
5:30 pm | Fri 29 Jun 2018
Gigs
Folk & World
Hear beautiful Kurdish folk music from this talented singer
Hear beautiful Kurdish folk music from this talented singer
7:30 pm
Tue 09 Oct 2018
7:30 pm | Tue 09 Oct 2018
Classical music
Orchestra
Andris Nelsons is described by The New York Times as 'a young dynamo'
Andris Nelsons is described by The New York Times as 'a young dynamo'
marin Alsop

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:00 pm
Sun 11 Nov 2018
7:00 pm | Sun 11 Nov 2018
Classical music
Choral
Open your ears to a ‘Requiem for the masses’
Open your ears to a ‘Requiem for the masses’

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Fri 18 Jan 2019
7:30 pm | Fri 18 Jan 2019
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
Renowned violinist Leonidas Kavakos and acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang return to Royal Festival Hall
Renowned violinist Leonidas Kavakos and acclaimed pianist Yuja Wang return to Royal Festival Hall
7:00 pm
Sat 19 Jan 2019
7:00 pm | Sat 19 Jan 2019
Classical music
Contemporary Classical
Ensemble Modern presents the music of multi-award-winning British composer Rebecca Saunders
Ensemble Modern presents the music of multi-award-winning British composer Rebecca Saunders

Free

Free

8:00 pm
Sun 20 Jan 2019
8:00 pm | Sun 20 Jan 2019
Classical music
Chamber & Recital
Take in gripping music by two composers who are fast becoming the leading lights of their generation, Dai Fujikura and Andrew Norman.
Take in gripping music by two composers who are fast becoming the leading lights of their...

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Maybe you’re asking, do women still need to fight for equality in music in 2017? 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
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
more stories