Growing number of female violinists and gender equity

Posted on: March 2, 2016

“Where are the women in classical music? It’s a question we’ve been asking for decades,” writes Ivan Hewett in Wednesday’s (3/2) Telegraph (United Kingdom). “But there’s one area of the art form where the question is easily answered. When it comes to playing the violin, women are everywhere. It’s a change symbolized by a surprising announcement from the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, which takes place next month in London. In its senior division, there will be only one man out of 22 finalists.… Look beyond the hot-house world of competitions, and you see women violinists gaining ground everywhere.… In recent decades [women have] become dominant in orchestras too. This has come about because the audition process has been ‘gender-blind’ since the Nineties, with the candidates hidden behind a screen. The results have been spectacular. In the top-rank American orchestras, the proportion of women rose from 24 per cent to 35 per cent, but in the violin sections the rise has been even more dramatic—they are now at 59 per cent. The same is true in Europe.… When female trombonists and composers and conductors are as ubiquitous as female violinists, we’ll know equality has truly arrived in classical music.”

Posted March 2, 2016

Pictured: Leila Josefowicz