Philadelphia Orchestra showcases six female composers following backlash for releasing male-dominated schedule

"We just have to fight through our way and work through the struggle in our life."

Antionette Lee
September 06, 2018 - 7:36 pm
The Philadelphia Orchestra and Conductor Yannick Nezet-Seguin, photographed at the Kimmel Center on Friday, Dec. 3, 2015, in Philadelphia.

© Jessica Griffin/Special to the Press-Citizen


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — After they released a schedule that included no female composers, The Philadelphia Orchestra is now making efforts to amend its mistakes and strengthen the role of women in classical music. 

"It's just like my life," said Xi Wang on how the music she writes impacts her. 

She's one of the six female composers invited by The Philadelphia Orchestra to showcase their work to the public at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, after the orchestra faced national criticism for not including women in its schedule of performances.

"I'm a first-generation immigrant to the United States," said Wang. "We just have to fight through our way and work through the struggle in our life."

Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky said all six of the women will team up with "mentor" composers to write new works for the 2019-2020 season, which will "help in the development of their lives as artist, their skills as composers, and help contribute to the evolution of music."

He said it's an exciting time because the new season is a reflection that "the world is moving forward." And alongside classics like Mozart, concertgoers can also expect to hear "the sounds of today."

"The Philadelphia Orchestra is not only about the great monuments of the past," he added. "It's also about making those new monuments for the future."