ISM & Arts News launch petition to ensure freedom of movement for creatives after Brexit

ISM and A N Arts News have joined together to launch a petition to ensure freedom of movement for creatives after Brexit FreeMoveCreate is a campaign to protect freedom of movement for the UK’s creative industries post-Brexit.

The campaign represents the coming together of more than 30,000 musicians and artists from across the memberships of a-n The Artists Information Company (the UK’s largest artists’ membership organisation) and the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM - the UK’s professional body for musicians) 

Follow this link to find out more about the Free move create campaign

Music Venue Trust bursary scheme for venues to offer work experience to young people

Red Stripe and Music Venue Trust partner on bursary scheme that helps 18-25 year olds gain work-experience in the music industry

Music Venue Trust is delighted to launch another initiative to support grassroots music venues to give young people opportunities to be part of the live music team at your local venue.

The Earn Your Stripes Bursary, funded by Red Stripe and administered by MVT, will enable 50 young people to be placed in internships ranging from lighting assistant and promoter to sound engineer at one of the hundreds of small venues across the UK.

Mark Davyd, CEO of MVT, said: “Creating the next generation of sound, lighting, booking and promotion staff is key to building Grassroots music venues' sustainability and to establishing a much needed succession plan – we want to make sure that the next generation of people running these venues have all the skills they need to create great shows for artists and audiences. We are delighted to have Red Stripe on board to deliver the much needed Earn Your Stripes programme to music venues.”

Here is the link to follow

London New Wind Festival call out extended to August 7th

London New Wind Festival call out for pieces - dateline extended to August 7th! Follow the link below to see how to apply . 

Women composers are always highly valued by LNWF

The Director is Catherine Plugyers who is a longstanding member of Women in Music and a fabulous musician whether playing classical or improv .

Taken from the website this is an idea of the London New Wind Festival 

"The festival is slowly growing in its scope to reflect the wide interests of its director Catherine Pluygers.  For the last two years it has added improvisation concerts to the main core of classical contemporary concerts for wind chamber ensembles.  Other areas covered by the festival are ‘new music for wind symphony orchestras’, brass ensembles and ‘new music by women composers.’  At all times the main objective has been to encourage and promote new works written for these wind groups and to that end the festival has worked closely with the main music information centres as well as Society for the Promotion of New Music and each year has had a ‘Call for New Pieces’ which provides about thirty new scores chosen from the one hundred or so that are submitted.

Performers for the festival are provided by a core of professional musicians each with a great deal of experience in the field and a genuine enthusiasm and commitment to new music. "


Women in Music BBC Proms Survey 2018 shows a significant improvement on previous Proms seasons

For some years Women in Music (UK) has been doing a survey of the numbers of women represented in the BBC PROMS season.  The Proms is the largest classical music festival in the world. This year there are 57 main evening orchestral concerts, as well as chamber music concerts, daytime events and late-night concerts. The audiences in the Royal Albert Hall are of many thousands, and all the concerts are broadcast, many on television.

This year the Proms Director, David Pickard, has publicly proclaimed that he intends to redress the balance between men and women. As far as composers are concerned he says his aim is to increase the number of BBC commissions to women until half of new commissions for the Proms season are for  women by the year 2022.

The figures for women in the 2018 BBC Proms season are:

Composers:                   19/133  (14%)               [Last year was 9/120]

Living composers:         17/43    (40%)               [Last year was 8/36]

BBC Commissions:       12/19    (63%)               [Last year was 4/13]

Conductors:                  4/58      (7%)                 [Last year was 7/57]

This year I have made a new category for the number of living composers whose works are substantial (more than 15 mins) and are featured in main evening concerts. This is because many of the new commissions this year are for short pieces in chamber concerts or “family” concerts.

Substantial works by living composers: 5/14 (36%)

The women composers are: Kerry Andrew, Lili Boulanger, Tansy Davies, Bushra El-Turk, Suzanne Farrin, lisa Illean, Hannah Kendall, Anna Meredith, Isobel Mundry, Thea Musgrave, Laura Mvula, Olga Neuwirth, Roxanna Panufnik, Eve Risser, Nina Senk, Caroline Shaw, Ethel Smyth, Jessica Wells, Agata Zubel

The conductors are: Marin Alsop; Karina Canellakis; Sian Edwards; Jane Glover.

To analyse the results:  These figures are substantially better than they have ever been. The previous best for composers was in 2015 when there were 12 female composers in the Proms season. The number of female conductors is down from last year, but that was an all-time high. Last year when I looked at the duration of the works by living composers I found that only one woman composer had a substantial work (15 mins or over), and that was not in a main evening concert at the Royal Albert Hall. That was compared to 17 substantial works by male composers in the main evening concerts. To have 5 substantial works by women this year is unprecedented.

It does seem that there is a marked improvement regarding the proportion of women composers in the 2018 BBC Proms season, with promise of this continuing.  I take it that this is, in part, a response to the publicity generated by Women in Music (my survey started in the 1980s) and taken up by other music journalists and publicists. Result!

I have never implied that the BBC Proms season is any worse than any other substantial classical music season or festival – only that it is representative. I will now have to think whether to continue the Proms survey, or maybe switch attention to other seasons elsewhere.

                                                                                                Jenny Fowler

NOTE: Anyone is welcome to quote these statistics, but please mention the source. The figures for past Proms seasons are also available on the Women in Music (UK) website: