Across the 2018-2019 seasons of 15 top orchestras worldwide, only 2.3 percent of works programmed were composed by women, according to a report by UK classical music label Drama Musica’s DONNE: Women in Musicproject. Drama Musica gathered information from the programmed seasons of 15 major orchestras – including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra – selected by a panel of music critics, and the results are damning. Of 3,524 works programmed, only 82 were written by women composers, and of 1,445 concerts worldwide, only 76 featured at least one work by a woman – 94.7 percent of the concerts presented only works by male composers.

“What started as a personal interest, turned into an eye opener!” said soprano Gabriella Di Laccio, who curates the DONNE project, which aims to champion women composers’ equality. “The more I research, the more I discover about the fascinating stories and some outstanding music written by women composers that have simply been neglected for too long. I think it is time we all get involved: as performers and as organisations to make sure we increase the visibility, equality and education for future generations.”

The orchestras included in Drama Musica’s survey were the Royal...

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