Encouraging more diversity among British classical composers

Posted on: May 26, 2016

“New research from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) reveals major issues in the commissioning of works by female and BAME [Black and Minority Ethnic] classical music composers,” writes Rhian Jones in Tuesday’s (5/24) Music Business Worldwide (London). The research “involved analyzing data on commissioned works that were submitted to the 2015 British Composer Awards.” Among key findings: “6% of commissioned composers are BAME, compared to 14% amongst the UK population…. 21% of commissioned composers are female, compared to 51% of the UK population….  In 2013, the winners of all 13 categories at the British Composer Awards were male, and 12 were white…. In 2015, two were female and all were white. BASCA has adjusted the demographics of the judging panel so that in 2015, 50% were female and a significant percentage were from black or minority ethnic backgrounds…. In 2016, for the first time, composers will be able to nominate themselves [and] in most categories the works will be judged anonymously, reducing the possibility of unconscious bias.” Says BASCA CEO Vick Bain, “We are planning a Diversity in Composition day with BBC Radio 3 … and there will be more work with the Association of British Orchestras.”

Posted May 26, 2016