It is profoundly disappointing that there remains a huge gender disparity at ABC Classic FM. For example, for the top 100 composers countdown, only six were women. The channel celebrated Beethoven as the number 1 composer, what about Elena Kats-Chernin or Hildegard von Bingen? In previous top 100 competitions (Classic 100 Love, Baroque and Before, Music of France, Symphony, Chamber Music, Opera, Piano, Concerto, etc) female composers comprise less than 10 per cent in each case.
Why does this inequity continue to exist? Surely when Beethoven’s Ninth is played for 70 minutes we should get 70 minutes of Clara Schumann or Fanny Mendelssohn? When Wagner’s Ring Cycle is played for 17 hours we should hear a similar time of Francesca Caccini, Barbara Strozzi, Amy Beach or Hildegard of Bingen?
It is time that the last bastion of male privilege – classical composition – be finally beaten down. We want to hear the great women composers. We have heard enough of JS Bach, JC Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Chopin, Bizet, Rossini, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Handel, Vivaldi, Schubert, Rachmaninov, Elgar, Mendelssohn, Dvorak, Brahms, John Williams, Sibelius, Sculthorpe, Puccini, Mahler, Verdi, Debussy, Saint-Saens, Shostakovich, Haydn, Part, Gershwin, Ravel, Grieg and so on. We want to hear more female composers.