Some Gender Stats for Women in Music


This month (January 2002) the West German State Radio is broadcasting and/or presenting live 117 works of new music (all written since about 1970). Only 2 are by women.

117 to 2.

The stats in more detail: 93 works are being broadcast and 2 are by women. 24 works are being performed in concert and none are by women.

93 to 2 (broadcasts) 
24 to 0 (concert performance)

The stats for last October were 100 to 4. 


Each month the West German State Radio (WDR) publishes a brochure which lists all of the works of new music it will broadcast and/or perform for the month. The October 2001 brochure lists 104 works. Only 4 are by women. 

100 to 4.

The four listings by women are:
Lucia Ronchetti -- Quaderno gotico (2001) [both a live performance and a broadcast so this work is listed twice]
Sofia Gubaidulina -- Detto II (1972)
Olga Neuwirth -- ...morphologische Fragmente... (1999)


The city of Ulm, Germany hosted a series of concerts from Ocotber 7 to 18 devoted to 20th century American music. Twenty-five works were presented. Only 1 was by a woman.

24 to 1.

The work by a woman was Annie Gosfield's "Cranks and Cactus Needles." 

From October 19 to 21 the Donaueschingen Festival will present 24 works of new music. Three are by women.

21 to 3.

Donauesching is probably Germany's most prestigious new music festival. You can find the program details for the three women at:


I was just looking at the program for a new music festival in Munich named "Klangspuren." They are presenting five concerts of new music this year between October and May. All of the concerts will include discussions with some of the composers.

29 works are being present by 26 different composers. All of the composers are men. There are no women.

29 to 0.

Two well-known German musicians, Siegfied Mauser and Peter Ruzicka, are responsible for the programming and will moderate the discussions.

Last summer I wrote about the Tempo Festival at UC Berkley and its 19 to 1 m/f ratio. Last week I received a wrathful letter from one of the organizers. He said I didn't know the details behind the ratio, but he did not explain what they were.


I asked a friend visiting a rehearsal at Bayreuth to make a m/f count for me for the orchestra. She was at a rehearsal for _Das Rheingold_.

There were 99 musicians total. Outside of harpists, there were only five women in the orchestra:

1 tutti first violin
1 tutti second violin
2 tutti violas
1 tutti oboe

All four harpists were women. (All four were playing in the rehearsal.) I do not know the orchestra's total number of members. Not all play in one rehearsal, but it would appear that outside of harpists, women represent about 5% of the orchestra's personnel.


Out of curiosity I just looked at the website of Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) to see if it had old programs from which I could determine men to women ratios for composers and improvisers. They list programs for a series that was called "Klub Karma" and which has now been replaced by a series called "Strictly Ballroom." The programs for the two series go from January 1998 to May 2001. As composers and/or improvisers the programs list:

56 men
7 women
4 who had names whose gender I could not determine 

One of the events was a presentation of multimedia works for from the San Francisco Art Institute and contained the most women of any program.

Women thus had about a 12.5% representation on the concerts listed on the CCRMA website. (The four names whose gender I could not determine would probably not significantly change the representation. I didn't double check my count so there might be a small margin of error.) Twelve and a half percent is well below the bench mark of 17% set by the representation of women at the last ICMC -- a program set through anonymous submission.

The CCRMA site does not list faculty, but I do not think there are any women composers.