Research seminars

Panel discussion: Should concerts have quotas?

Event details

Speakers: Hilary Brooks (Scottish Women Inventing Music), Rachel Harvie (Voces Inauditae), Gavin Reid (Chief Executive, Scottish Chamber Orchestra).

Date: 9 October 2019

Time: 3.15 - 5.00pm.  

Venue: Alison House, Atrium (G10)


A montage of European classical composers, all men

Women have always composed music – and were often celebrated in their own times for doing so. Why, then, is the image on the right still representative of so many concerts of Western art music and related repertoires? What challenges are faced by composers (and other musicians) active today who happen to be women? What practical steps can be taken to improve the gender diversity of concert programming? Do we need to start thinking about quotas? And why does representation of this sort matter for today and tomorrow's music students?


Hilary Brooks is a multi award winning musical director, arranger and composer, and founder of the charity Scottish Women Inventing Music (SWIM) which campaigns for gender equality in the Scottish Music Industry.  Trained at the RSAMD (now  Royal Conservatoire of Scotland), she is a visiting mentor on their Musical Directing MA course. Hilary is the originating MD & Score Arranger for the highly acclaimed stage musicals Sunshine On Leith and Glasgow Girls. With the composer Karen MacIver, Hilary is co-founder of PianoPiano – a composition and performance project for two grand pianos; each piece of music is dedicated to a female heroine. With her long-term collaborator, the book writer & lyricist Clive King, she has written three musicals - Melania, Wee Free! and Meeting Matthew.

Rachel Harvie (biography to follow)

Gavin Reid is Chief Executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. Prior to joining the SCO in 2016, Gavin spent ten years as Director of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Born and educated in Edinburgh, he studied the trumpet at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London before pursuing a freelance career performing and teaching. He was Principal Trumpet of Manchester Camerata from 1989-2001, and developed their education and outreach programme between 1996-2002; he was appointed General Manager of Manchester Camerata in 2002. In October 2018 Gavin was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, having previously served as a Governor from 2012 to 2018. Gavin Reid was elected Chair of the Association of British Orchestras in November 2017.


Related Links

Scottish Women Inventing Music (external site) (external site)

Scottish Chamber Orchestra (external site)  

Voces Inauditae (external site







Oct 09 2019 -

Panel discussion: Should concerts have quotas?

Why are there so few women composers on concert programmes? And why does this matter? A panel of invited guests discuss.

Alison House
12 Nicolson Square