the cmrc blog

Keychange


 
Last week, the Proms announced that by 2022, 50% of new commissions will go to women (https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/26/bbc-proms-give-half-new-commissions-women-2022/).  This is part of the PRSF’s Keychange initiative, and 45 other UK festivals have made pledges along similar lines.
Predictably, not everyone is happy, though this Telegraph headline is perhaps overstating things: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/01/bbc-proms-backlash-gender-balance-will-see-fading-opportunities/
The argument I’ve heard most frequently against the proposals is, essentially, quotas are the death of excellence. It will be all quantity, not quality. This doesn’t convince me – apart from anything else, if it’s 50/50, who’s to say it’s not the men that are making up numbers.  But still, this seems to be a relatively widely held view, if not necessarily openly professed.
The whole situation reminded me that when discussing pretty much this issue with my 1st year class a few years ago, a great many of the students were strongly anti-quotas – and this was not a split along gender lines.
So I’m curious as to how the cmrc community feel about this and encourage you to comment openly (I think it’s possible to comment anonymously, incidentally).
If you’re interested I outlined my views here:

https://twitter.com/mcs42/status/969165922052263937)

Let’s hear what you have to say!

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About the author

Associate Composer with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Martin Suckling was born in Glasgow in 1981. He has been commissioned by many leading orchestras and ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Recent works have explored micro-tonality from a broadly post-spectral perspective with a…

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