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Melissa Bradshaw

Brits almost twice as likely to recognise male composers, Royal Albert Hall’s new research finds

3:47, 8th March 2019

New research released today by the Royal Albert Hall has revealed that Brits are nearly twice as likely to recognise a famous male classical composer compared to their female counterparts.

The study shows that the top 10 classical composers most recognised by Brits are all male, with Mozart (recognised by 70 per cent), Beethoven (70 per cent) and Bach (60 per cent) topping the list. In comparison, women composers had significantly lower recognition, with Fanny Mendelsshon, Clara Schumann and Hildegard von Bingen known to just 30 per cent, 17 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, despite composing some of the most critically-acclaimed pieces of their time.

Lucy Noble, artistic and commercial director at the Royal Albert Hall, comments: ‘History has left us a legacy of great classical composers; Mozart, Bach and Schubert to name a few. But we must make sure that young people are exposed to not just these white, male titans, but women and those from minority backgrounds are recognised too.’

She continues: ‘The challenge doesn’t just stop with redressing history. I am so proud that the Royal Albert Hall continues to be a venue that nurtures, showcases and champions incredible female talent today. There is no better example than our upcoming Love Classical series which will see performances from some of classical music’s leading female performers.’

Love Classical is the Hall’s upcoming season of shows celebrating some of the most distinctive and original voices in classical music today. Two of the programme’s headline events feature prominent women from the world of classical music including soprano Lauren Fagan and saxophonist Jess Gillam.


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