A range of databases cataloguing underrepresented composers and their works are proving essential to classical music organisations' efforts to revitalise their repertoire. However, they are volunteer-run, under-resourced and operating in isolated silos, resulting in resources that are less efficient than they could be, and woefully under-utilised. Do we need to stage a tech intervention?
Joanne Roughton-Arnold is a freelance opera singer, and Artistic Director and Co-Founder of formidAbility, a female- and disability-led opera company breaking new ground in accessibility and inclusion in opera, onstage and off. formidAbility engages a healthy mix of disabled and non-disabled professional artists and places audience accessibility at the heart of the creative process, rather than tacking it onto the periphery. Here, she discusses her fears - and plans - around the place of disabled creatives, crew and audience members in the future of the arts.
When it comes to inclusivity, the classical music industry is brimming with good intentions. But history has shown that good intentions are frequently derailed by roadblocks of our own making. So, how can we ensure today's good intentions convert into good embedded practices and outcomes in the future?
What happens in an organisation with intentionally diffuse leadership? Conductors and spouses Holly Mathieson and Jon Hargreaves share Artistic Directorship of the Nevis Ensemble in Scotland. They've found that rather than giving two people 50% of the responsibility for the artistic health of the ensemble, it has proven to be a way to deliver twice as much value to everyone involved.
Most musicians have it virtually stamped across their forehead: "I can't, I have rehearsal." So what happens when performers can't perform?
As musicians, we grapple daily with the task of situating ourselves in a field of nuance, subjectivity and opinion, and the journey toward musical expression couldn't be further from a linear trajectory on a 2D plane. It is at once bewildering and liberating to realise that the knitting of one aspect of your craft may require the unravelling of another. So there is something wonderfully freeing in becoming acquainted with the primary building blocks of computer systems, languages and logic - booleans.