Ensemble Sospeso Gender Ratios for 2005


October 13, 2005


The New York new music group, Ensemble Sospeso, is presenting 21 composers this season.  Only one is a woman, the pop singer Bj÷rk Gu­mundsdˇttir.  That's 20 to 1, or 5% for women . 


What would it take to get the directors of Sopeso to understand this kind of programming is grotesque?   Many of the men they perform are very obscure, while they have never programmed many very well-known women composers. 


Are the directors of Sospeso sexist, or the victims of circumstance, or a little of both?  Would it be worthwhile to write and ask them why they setup this 20 to 1 ratio?  Is it appropriate to express anger, and what is the best way to do that? 


Or what if a group of brave women distributed protest leaflets at a couple of their concerts? (Something short, simple and respectful distributed with calm, friendly dignity.  It could simply note the poor ratio and list the many recognized women who have never been programmed.)  Would it have an affect on next season's program?  What would Sospeso think with the public sitting there holding those leaflets along with their all-male program?


The stats for women in all of Sospeso's seasons taken together appear to be even worse, but I didn't bother counting the exact numbers.


The ES website is at:   http://www.sospeso.com/contents/musicians.html   


The names for this season's composers are listed below my signature.


William Osborne



Composers featured this season by Ensemslbe Sospeso

(* denotes world premieres performed this season)

john ashcroft

john barry

alban berg

pierre boulez

johannes brahms

joshua cody *

marc-andrÚ dalbavie *

brian ferneyhough *

bj÷rk gu­mundsdˇttir

bruno mantovani *

thurston moore *

kirk noreen *

george plimpton

wolfgang rihm

arnold schoenberg

erik satie

elliott sharp *

dj spooky *

rand steiger *

morton subnotnick *

john zorn



other artists