BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey has committed to several initiatives to increase diversity and inclusion within classical music.
Speaking at the inaugural Diversity And Inclusion In Classical Composition conference at Manchester's Royal Northern College of Music on October 19, Davey promised "real action".
He revealed the station would expand its canon to be feature unjustly neglected composers, reappraise the commissioning process and commission a new work for Chineke Orchestra. He also committed to reconvening the conferencein the next 18 months to ensure continued action.
“We want to work with others to make lasting change across the industry," said Davey (pictured), who is also at the helm of BBC Proms and BBC Performing Groups. "I said I wanted to ensure this conference effected real change, because as an industry we need to do this to get the best possible quality work from the broadest of backgrounds in order for classical music to grow, and to reflect our society and the talent that will emerge.
"If we, as an industry, can all pledge to make at least one change in how we do things, then we stand to make a real difference. I am proud to commit to changes at our end as a leading commissioner and promoter of classical music and look forward to seeing others take the first steps towards what I hope will be lasting change.”
Deborah Annetts, CEO of the Incorporated Society Of Musicians (ISM) welcomed the news. "The BBC is the biggest commissioner and promoter of new music in the country and we recognise the central role that they play in our cultural lives," she said. "The announcement by Alan Davey is hugely welcome and recognises the need for the BBC to ensure that its commissioning and broadcasting process is transparent and open to composers regardless of background.
"89% of composers do not know how the current commissioning process at the BBC works – including many who have been commissioned themselves – and we hope this review will address these and other issues raised by composers."