Overture Magazine - 2015-2016 Season March-April 2016 - Page 13

“ Women musicians in classical music are ‘...too often judged for their appearances, rather than their talent’ and they face pressure ‘...to look sexy onstage and in photos.’ Meet the Composers Six of the 10 composers contributing to the Centennial Celebration Commissions are women. The BSO became the first major orchestra to have a female music director when it hired Marin Alsop in 2007. Ad r ian e-Wh ite The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has, for the last two seasons, analyzed the repertoires of U.S. orchestras. Of the composers performed by 89 orchestras this season, only 1.7 percent are women, not too surprising considering women were excluded from much of classical music’s history. When the net is cast to include compositions by living composers only, the number jumps to a still paltry 14 percent. The orchestra itself shows a more equitable mix of men and women. The League of American Orchestras reports that 47.37 percent of musicians in its approximately 800-member organization are female. Much of that success could be attributed to the rise in recent decades of blind auditions. A