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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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Ravi Shankar, indian musician and composer
7:30 pm
Tue 07 Apr 2020
7:30 pm | Tue 07 Apr 2020
gigs
folk & world
The Shankar family, friends and disciples celebrate 100 years since the birth of this extraordinary musician
The Shankar family, friends and disciples celebrate 100 years since the birth of this extraordinary...
Sold out
National Youth Orchestra on stage at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre
Various times
16 Apr 2020 - 18 Apr 2020
Various times | 16 Apr 2020 - 18 Apr 2020
classical music
Hear an ode to joy for our times with a reimagined choral symphony from the National Youth Orchestra
Hear an ode to joy for our times with a reimagined choral symphony from the National Youth Orchestra

Free

Free

3:00 pm
Fri 17 Apr 2020
3:00 pm | Fri 17 Apr 2020
classical music
courses & workshops
Learn from rising-star women conductors as they are expertly coached by the conducting superstar
Learn from rising-star women conductors as they are expertly coached by the conducting superstar
Anoushka Shankar, sitarist

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Wed 22 Apr 2020
7:30 pm | Wed 22 Apr 2020
classical music
contemporary classical
Three genre-defying works from 2010, brought to you by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Three genre-defying works from 2010, brought to you by the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Performance of Mahler: The Song of the Earth

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 30 Apr 2020
7:30 pm | Thu 30 Apr 2020
classical music
The Philharmonia Orchestra presents music embracing youth and beauty, old age and farewell
The Philharmonia Orchestra presents music embracing youth and beauty, old age and farewell
Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, conductor
7:30 pm
Sat 09 May 2020
7:30 pm | Sat 09 May 2020
classical music
contemporary classical
On the surface, Debussy and Varèse couldn't be more different, but they share an obsession with sound
On the surface, Debussy and Varèse couldn't be more different, but they share an obsession...
Joana Carneiro, conductor

Multi-buy discount

Multi-buy discount

7:30 pm
Thu 14 May 2020
7:30 pm | Thu 14 May 2020
classical music
Ride the emotions of great 20th-century American music with the Philharmonia Orchestra
Ride the emotions of great 20th-century American music with the Philharmonia Orchestra
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor

Multi-buy discount

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
Karina Canellakis, conductor

Multi-buy discount

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

Multi-buy discount

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

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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
more stories