Gender representation at 20 U.S. orchestras, in graph format

Posted on: November 20, 2014

Suby Raman, a composer and programmer, writes in a Tuesday (11/18) post at, “Of all the graphs I posted [in October] of the Metropolitan Opera’s performance history, one showing the absence of female composers seemed to resonate most online. Continuing in that vein, I decided to take a look at gender representation in America’s top 20 orchestras, represented by 1,833 individual musicians.” Raman states that his data set is taken from rosters of musicians posted at current orchestra webpages, and that “top 20 orchestras” is defined as the top 20 orchestras ranked by base salary, for which purpose only musicians, not librarians and other personnel, were included. The orchestras sampled “on average, have 63% men and 37% women…. Only one … has more women than men: the St. Louis Symphony… Only one has a female music director: Marin Alsop of the Baltimore Symphony.” In the string sections, “There is very good representation of women playing violin, less so the others. The only section in the orchestra that women completely dominate is the harp…. Men dominate the brass section….  Concertmasters are almost uniformly men, leading a violin population that is mostly women.” The post includes bar graphs showing gender representation in each of eleven categories.

Posted November 20, 2014