22 June 2022
By Ellie Palmer
The report also shows that performances of works by living composers doubled
A new report conducted by The Institute for Composer Diversity has found that performances of works by women composers and composers of colour has increased by a huge 400% since 2015.
The 2022 Orchestra Repertoire Report, compiled by Dr Rob Deemer and Dr Cory Meals, concluded that changes in programming trends accelerated after the 19-20 season, narrowing the gap between white male composers and composers from historically excluded groups. The report continues:
"In the 2019-2020 season, the three most-programmed composers – Ludwig van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky – held almost 20% of the programmed repertoire during that year. In contrast, only 12% of that repertoire was by women composers and composers of colour.
"In the 2021-2022 season, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky were still the three most-performed composers, but their works represented over 16% of the repertoire – a 14% adjustment. Conversely, women composers and composers of colour saw an 87% increase from the 2019-2022 season."
While the numbers of works performed by deceased white men still represents a huge 70% of all works, the number of living composers now being represented has doubled since 2015.
The report states that the increase in works by women composers and composers of colours has helped the rise in works by living composers, as these demographics are very closely linked.
"As these two demographics are strongly linked (e.g., the majority of programmed women composers and composers of colour are living), these increases likely reflect a general trend across all living composers rather than one specific grouping."
The full report is available to view here.