A&E Season Preview 2023 – 2024: Let’s Hear It For The Girls
Up until the early 20th century, women were encouraged to master instruments but it would have raised judgmental eyebrows had they done so in public.
All the more reason to take particular note of the six concerts in the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra this season that will include the following women: conductors Mei-Ann Chen, Chloé van Soeterstède, Chelsea Gallo, and Georgia Mills. Works by female composers will include Dai Wei, Katarina Leyman, and former Composer-in-Residence Anna Clyne.
One of the first composers to ever teach female students was Franz Liszt back in the mid-1800s. Though Liszt was progressive to a certain extent, dedicated music history buffs are familiar with a photo of him with his students in which all of the female student were edited out.
Compositions by women and people of color now make up about 23 percent of the pieces performed by American orchestras, up from about 5 percent in 2015, according to the Institute for Composer Diversity. On average, American orchestras are now made of 63% men, 37% women.