Naomi Pohl becomes the Musicians Union's first female Assistant General Secretary

Catching up after a while with some excellent news. Our congratulations as .... 
Naomi Pohl becomes the Musicians Union's first female Assistant General Secretary

Naomi Pohl has been appointed as MU Assistant General Secretary, Music Industry, and becomes the first female to join the Union’s team of senior officials in the Union’s history!

“There is also crucial work continuing in the field of music education, campaigning for equal provision across the UK and decent pay and conditions for instrumental teachers. Plus we continue to lobby for the Agent of Change principle to be introduced so that music venues aren't threatened by noise complaints from neighbouring properties that post-dated them. So plenty to be getting on with!

“I am especially pleased to be the first female AGS and I hope this is an indication of increasing diversity, not only within the MU, but across the music industry. It takes time, but it will happen.”

General Secretary Elect, Horace Trubridge, says: “This is a very welcome appointment. Naomi has worked for the MU in every area of the industry and is ideally suited for the role. I'm delighted that she will be joining the Secretariat at a time when the profession is facing so many challenges and I am confident that the new team is well placed to meet those challenges head on.”

BBC Radio 3 celebrates women composers

Again Radio 3 is dedicating all it's air time on 8th March to music by and interviews with women composers, including a number of world premieres.  Whilst Women in Music applaud their celebration, we will not rest content until there is music by women composers on Radio 3 every day.

Listen in tomorrow for some fabulous music, old and new, and some important discussion about how history has overlooked some amazing work because it was written by women.

'We need more women composers – and it's not about tokenism, it's about talent' - Susanna Eastburn in The Guardian

In The Guardian, Susanna Eastburn, chief executive of Sound and Music, explains why, by 2020, 50 per cent of the composers they work with will identify as women.  She examines the reality of unconscious bias and rejects tokenism in favour of openness and enrichment in our musical experience.  A great article.

Barbican Responds to International Women's Day Concert Advert

WiM has had a response from the Barbican to the issue we raised about the concert by the Moscow Virtuosi on 8 March which was billed as a International Women's Day event in BBC Music Magazine.  Huw Humphreys, the Head of Music at the Barbican, says

'This concert is a rental of the Barbican Hall with the marketing of the event undertaken by an outside promoter, and while the concert does fall on International Women's Day it was not programmed to mark this event. The Barbican had not been sent nor approved this version of the advert and had not been made aware that the promoter intended to market it in this way. We recognise that it is entirely inappropriate to claim any link between the concert and lnternational Women's Day, and have instructed the concert promoter to remove all mention of this from any future advertising copy.

Having spoken to the promoter since this advert was brought to our attention, it appears that the promoter had misunderstood the focus of International Women's Day, on celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. They informed us that they included the mention in the advert as the focus and ways of celebrating International Women's Day are different in former Soviet Union countries. While this in no way excuses the advert making this link, I iust wanted to provide some context to try to explain how this error has occurred.

I'd like to sincerely apologise on behalf of the Barbican for any offence caused and would like to assure you again that we absolutely agree that it was entirely inappropriate for the promoter to make this link between the concert and lnternational Women's Day in the way that it is understood in the UK and internationally.

The Barbican is programming an event to mark International Women's Day on 8 March 2018 which features the Insula Orchestra led by the Laurence Equilbey, featuring soloist Alexandra Corunova, Natalie Clein and Alice Sara Ott and celebrating the chamber and orchestral music of Louise Farrenc.'

So watch out for the Barbican's 2018 celebration.  Perhaps they could have done something meaningful this year too.

Is this how the Barbican and the Moscow Virtuosi really intend to mark International Women's Day?

In the January issue of BBC Music Magazine there is a full-page advertisement for a concert on 8th March at the Barbican, London "to mark International Women's Day". It is to be given by the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra.

The program consists entirely of male composers.

The photograph on the Barbican website shows members of the orchestra - all male. The photo on the orchestra website shows 2 women and 26 men. There are 8 soloists listed at the Barbican event, 7 of whom are men.

Is this how the Barbican and the Moscow Virtuosi really intend to mark International Women's Day?