For the second year running, UK record label Drama Musica and its partner project DONNE, Women in Music examined the programmes presented by 15 major orchestras worldwide in their 2019-2020 season to identify the presence of women composers in concerts.

Results show that classical music is still a man’s world: only 3.6% of the total pieces to be performed this season were composed by women. Although there has been an increase – last year only 2.3% of the pieces were written by women – we are still quite far from reaching equality.

Perhaps more worrying, is the fact that only 8.2% of the concerts included at least 1 piece by a woman. Last year, only 5.3% of the concerts included at least 1 piece by a woman. Progress continues to be slow.

At this rate we will have to wait until around 2051 to have at least one piece by a woman composer in all concerts. With all the resources we have at the present time to access so many works by women composers that deserve to be known by the public, is this still really acceptable?

Soprano Gabriella Di Laccio, founder and curator of DONNE, Women in Music, says:

It is very difficult to find excuses for not having works by women composers present in every concert. There are thousands of music scores now widely available and the quality of the music is unquestionable. As artists, I truly believe we should always try to cultivate curiosity in our audiences, to open their eyes to a much richer and diverse musical world. It is possible and it is an incredibly enriching artistic experience for everyone. Plus, we will be supporting diverse role models for future generations. What could be better than that? And to quote composer Nicola LeFanu, commenting on last year’s results: “What’s wrong with 50:50 for a living?”
(see full video with NicolaLe Fanu here)

Full results:

In the 2019-2020 seasons programmed by 15 major orchestras worldwide, more than 1500 CONCERTS will be performed:

  • Only 123of ALL concerts include at least ONE piece by a woman composer;
  • At these concerts, 3997 MUSICAL WORKS will be performed;
  • Only 142were written by women composers;
  • 3855were written by MALE composers

All numbers show there has been little improvement compared to last year, and we are still quite far from reaching equality (see full results here)

Numbers of the gender inequality in music were revealed in 2018 in a research by DONNE | Women in Music and Drama Musica that gathered information on concert programmes by top orchestras worldwide, selected from the Gramophone Magazine list. The orchestras in this list are chosen by a panel of leading music critics among the world’s most influential.

The orchestras included on the research are: Royal Concertgebouw, Berliner Philarmoniker, Vienna Philharmoniker, London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra.

ABOUT DONNE | Women in Music

Launched on International Women’s Day 2018, DONNE | Women in Music is an ongoing project that aims to promote equality in classical music and inspire future generations.

The project is a new destination platform for information and content spotlighting brilliant women composers, past and present. DONNE’s dedicated website features an online database of more than 5,000 women composers on the Big List page, providing further information about them. Throughout the year DONNE celebrates women who are currently making their mark in society in the online series Composers of Today. DONNE also features the stories of so many forgotten women composers of the past with short video introductions on the Historical Composers page.


Since1st January 2019, DONNE365 has started: for 365 days this year DONNE is featuring two women composers EVERY DAY with links to their website and where to find their music.

DONNE’s CD Collection is releasing 5 albums featuring only music by women in 2018-1019 extending the equality initiative to the recording market as well.

DONNE was founded by soprano Gabriella Di Laccio. In November 2018 Gabriella was named by the BBC as one of 100 most inspirational and influential women in the world for both her music and for her work as Founder & Curator of DONNE.  About Drama Musica
UK independent classical music label dedicated to producing exciting, innovative and high-quality recordings combining outstanding musical talent and imagination.

We focus on bringing freshness to the early music repertoire as well as exploring works by women and Brazilian composers. Uniquely, Drama Musica also provides an international platform for renowned Brazilian artists introducing them to a global audience. |

For more information, please contact:

Charlotte Bennet
Email –

Gabriella Di Laccio