series

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.

find out more

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

Members get priority booking

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.

buy Membership

Sorry, your search didn't find anything.

Try changing the date selection, or other filters and searching again

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
4:00 pm
Sun 10 May 2020
4:00 pm | Sun 10 May 2020
classical music
contemporary classical
The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group profiles French composers who set music free
The Birmingham Contemporary Music Group profiles French composers who set music free
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
A choir performing on stage
7:30 pm
Wed 17 Mar 2021
7:30 pm | Wed 17 Mar 2021
classical music
contemporary classical
Classical music meets its audience in a work inspired by Midsummer Night’s Dream
Classical music meets its audience in a work inspired by Midsummer Night’s Dream
Patricia_Kopatchinskaja / Foto credit: Julia Wesely
7:30 pm
Sat 27 Mar 2021
7:30 pm | Sat 27 Mar 2021
classical music
The world’s boldest violinist creates a live performance experience around Schubert’s iconic quartet
The world’s boldest violinist creates a live performance experience around Schubert’s iconic...

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 06 May 2021
7:30 pm | Thu 06 May 2021
classical music
The violin world’s wild child becomes singer, actor and fiddler in Schoenberg’s pivotal work
The violin world’s wild child becomes singer, actor and fiddler in Schoenberg’s pivotal work
Violinist Alina Ibragimova

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 03 Jun 2021
7:30 pm | Thu 03 Jun 2021
classical music
Hear heart-rending chamber music, born amid the horrors of war, by Messiaen and Shostakovich
Hear heart-rending chamber music, born amid the horrors of war, by Messiaen and Shostakovich

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
more stories