Tuesday, March 8th 2022 is International Women’s Day.

Each year, a theme accompanies the day of action and celebration. This year is all about #BreaktheBias.

The musical world, indeed does have a clear gender bias: it has been dominated by male composers and performers. 

As Janet Robbins and Maureen Blementhal have written:

"For many centuries, women composers and performers were kept from public view. Tradition deemed it only proper that females confine themselves to the domestic arts and leave the concert hall to the men. Considered a novelty, women’s music might be heard at best in drawing rooms and recital parlors."

And that gender bias is still playing out today.

Unfortunately, recent memory serves to remind us that orchestras still had an all-boys club mentality. It was only in 1982 that The Berlin Philharmonic allowed women to perform as part of the ensemble, and as recently as 1997 the Vienna Philharmonic would not allow women to even audition for the ensemble.

In the past decade, as the 2014-15 concert season got underway, an appalling 1.8 percent of the total pieces performed by 22 of America's largest orchestras, were pieces by women, according to data gathered by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  

At the start of the 2021-22 concert season, according to the New York Times, among the 25 largest ensembles in the United States, there were no women serving as music directors.


Join us here at Classic 107, as we celebrate the accomplishments of female musicians. Throughout the day, we will be featuring women conductors, performers and composers.

Highlights include:

  • Complete works by Fanny Mendelssohn, and Clara Schumann in the 9:00am hour.
  • At 10:00 am Simeon Rusnak will feature the wealth of female compositional  talent we have here in Canada
  • 11:00 am will feature complete works by the Composer and women’s suffragist Dame Ethel Smyth, as music by English composers Imogen Holst, Liza Lehman, and Alice Mary Smith
  • In the 1:00 pm hour Intermezzo host Chris Wolf will feature complete works by French women composers, Cecile Chaminade, Germaine Tailfferre, and both Nadia and Lili Boulanger.
  • In the 2:00 pm hour A full performance of Amy Beach’s masterful Gaelic Symphony will be heard, alongside the music of Dana Suesse, and Florence Price
  • In the 4:00 pm hour music performed by all Canadian Female performers will be heard.
  • At 8:00 pm Dinner Classics host Terry Klippenstein will be returning to the German romantic and will feature another two complete works by Both Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Schumann.

In the music that is not composed by men, women will be front and centre on the recordings, whether it be as soloists, conductor or ensemble.

Tune in starting at 6:00 am as we celebrate women throughout the day... on Winnipeg's Classic 107.