Sinfonia Viva Joins International Gender Balance Pledge

Sinfonia Viva, the Grammy-nominated East Midlands’ professional orchestra has joined an international pledge to gender parity.

Viva is one of more than 200 music organisations who have committed to the Keychange 50/50 pledge alongside organisations such as English National Opera and the Barbican.

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative, led by PRS Foundation and supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, which is empowering women to transform the future of the music industry to achieve a 50:50 balance by 2022.

Since the launch of the initiative last year, more than 180 festivals have signed up and committed to programming gender balanced line-ups by 2022 and the PRS Foundation has been recognised for its work with two international awards.

This has now been broadened to invite support from a wider range of music organisations including festivals, conservatoires, orchestras, broadcasters, concert halls, agents and labels.

The focus for orchestras, including Sinfonia Viva, will be on working towards achieving gender balance for composers commissioned, youth company participants, players, board members, award judges, panellists and other aspects of their organisation or company development.

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive Peter Helps said: “As a regional orchestra with a diverse concert and outreach programme, I am confident that we are already achieving a good gender balance.

“Our Board, management team, core players and community participants are already pretty evenly balanced.  We have also worked with some inspiring female composers including Anna Meredith but recognise that there is always room for improvement.

“We therefore whole-heartedly support this pledge for gender equality and are proud to be playing our part in achieving this goal.”

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation and Founder of Keychange, continued: “It’s really encouraging that major music organisations and independent companies are demonstrating their commitment to gender equality in music alongside hundreds of festivals worldwide.

“From world leading concert halls and orchestras to Bella Union, (the first indie label to approach us), pledge signatories are creating an industry wide movement. This will increase choice, quality and opportunity for future generations of music lovers, industry professionals, music creators and artists.”

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