During an industry conference entitled “Diversity and Inclusion in Composition” that was convened by the UK’s BBC Radio 3 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, Jamaica-born, Ludlow U.K.-based composer Eleanor Alberga stated that the classical music community is “not very inclusive and I suspect there are wider issues here, like unconscious racism and class.”
An article by BBC arts and entertainment reporter Ian Youngs offered statistics from one of the other speakers at the event, Vick Bain, chief executive of the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, which corroborates Alberga’s assertions.
• Only 6% of commissioned works submitted for the 2015 British Composer Awards were by black or minority ethnic composers.
• According to research conducted in 2013, 90% of commissions were the result of artistic directors or through other personal networks, rather than through open processes.
According to Alberga:
The powers that be must start to include all races on an ongoing basis. These powers could also entertain a broader concept of what a mainstream contemporary composer sounds and looks like so there isn’t just an inner club of composers who get heard while others are effectively silenced.