Symphony Season: the Numbers!

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra just compiled a very interesting batch of data based on the 2014-2015 season programming of 21 major national orchestras. The BSO (and by the BSO, probably some of their interns, but who knows?) aggregated the nation’s planned performances into the below infographic, which contains some very interesting (but, possibly, unsurprising) information about the performed material- age of pieces, gender/nationality of composers, popularity of certain composers, etc.

Enough out of me, peruse this fascinating (and very visually appealing) infographic (more writing beneath it)!

Orchestra Season Infographic

Like I said, this is a very interesting chart, but I’m not sure how surprising its revelations were. That said, it is quite staggering to see the actual numbers, such as 98% of all performed composers being male, and that the most performed living composer only gets 35 performances while the most performed composer overall gets 317. The nationality divide between most-performed composers overall vs. living is intriguing as well. All of these facts bring with them a litany of implications about the diversity (or lack thereof) in classical music performances, especially if you’re a fan of the genre, or if you want to become a professional classical musician.

My favorite thing about this infographic is the fact that the BSO actually put it together. I think it’s great that a major orchestra like the BSO is beginning to take strides to reassess the standards of what they and their peers perform. According to the original article, they will be publishing several pieces in the coming weeks analyzing their finds further, which is sure to be even more interesting.

In other news, a very happy birthday to Neil Young!