Sexism in classical music. It's everywhere in the industry and it's time someone said so and started to come up with something to begin solving the issue. So I have. Here is the piece, which is in today's Independent. Please pop over and read it.
I can't help wondering how musicians such as Clara Haskil, Maria Yudina or Dame Myra Hess would have fared in today's climate if a slinky picture was a pre-requisite. We'd be missing out on some of the greatest pianism of the 20th century. Hopefully an enlightened company like Hyperion or harmonia mundi might have taken them up - but doesn't it make you wonder who's being overlooked now?
Yesterday was the annual Myra Hess Day at the National Gallery. I couldn't go because I had a gig to do at the Linbury Studio, but it's something I'm always sad to miss. Here is some amazing footage of her playing Mozart's G major concerto K453 in her National Gallery concerts with the orchestra of the RAF.
Listen to the life she gives to every note and the wit and intelligence in her phrasing. Then ask whether she would not be struggling in the 21st century as a woman in the public eye, since her preferred concert dress probably wasn't a size 8 (British version thereof). Then ask yourself whether what we currently face in the music world is an acceptable situation. And then ask yourself what we're going to do about it.