Monday, 9 March 2015

Support for female composers did not last long

After my blog post of last week, I enjoyed most of an excellent day's programming on Radio 3 on Sunday. There was a lot of good music, much of it unfamiliar. The editorial content of the programmes was lively and positive with little hint of whingeing or sententiousness.

However, as midnight struck I had the distinct impression that the Radio 3 bosses were "grateful that it doesn't last all year", in the immortal words of Tom Lehrer in National Brotherhood Week. There was not a single woman in the roster for Through the Night and I have heard all male composers so far this morning. (Admittedly all that late-night listening caused me to sleep in today.) There is one bright spot: Composer of the Week this week features contemporary women composers.

One problem for the Radio 3 programme planners is the shortage of commercial recording. However, as the BBC Welsh Orchestra showed yesterday, public service broadcasters can step into the breach and there must have been other stations round the world ready to share material.

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