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Royal Albert Hall Trump-ets gender equality for aspiring Musicians


07 February 2017

A study examining gender bias toward musical instrument choice was released by the Royal Albert Hall today, in advance of world renowned female trumpeter Alison Balsom’s much anticipated return to the venue on the 17th March 2017.

2000 adults were asked whether they thought certain musical instruments were more likely to be played by a man or a woman.

The trumpet, whose extended playing technique includes ‘growling’ and ‘lip-slurs’, shares the same bad press with its stateside namesake the research reveals.

Brass instruments it appears, are regarded as being very much the preserve of men. Specifically, only two per cent of respondents associated the trumpet with women and only three per cent of those surveyed regarded the horn and the tuba as instruments likely to be played by the fairer sex.

The bias it seems, goes both ways. According to the research the playing of string instruments is – for the most part – seen as feminine. Only three per cent of respondents considered the violin as a masculine choice, while the harp is considered overwhelmingly as an instrument likely to be played by women, with just two per cent saying they would ever expect to see a man playing one.

Lucy Noble, Director of Events at the Royal Albert Hall, believes gender bias toward instrument choice needs to be less Trump and more in tune with Balsom’s style; a style that has led the artist to three Classical BRIT awards.

Noble said “I see it all the time. Brass sections within orchestras are always heavily male, equally the strings are generally women and that is because we, consciously or not, guide our children toward a ‘type’ of instrument… and it’s wrong.

In a time when the ‘leader’ of the free-world is Donald Trump and it seems gender equality is teetering on the edge, we must do what little we can to ensure music and the arts more generally, is seen as accessible to all and without gender stereotyping.”

She continued “I’m thrilled that despite the odds, this March, Alison Balsom is going to be headlining as a trumpeter at the premier live music venue in the UK."

Alison Balsom said “I’m delighted to be headlining at the Royal Albert Hall this March, as part of the Love Classical series. It’s such a fantastic opportunity to showcase everything the trumpet has to offer, from the baroque trumpet through to a brand new composition and collaboration with Gabriel Prokofiev for trumpet and turntables - there’s something for everybody. This concert is made extra special by some of my closest friends joining me onstage: the incredible Bryn Terfel and Hannah Stone, Guy Barker, David Goode and The Balsom Ensemble will all add their unique touch to the evening."

For more information and to book tickets, please visit.

Listings Info
Alison Balsom & Freinds
17 March
Starts: 3.00pm

Tickets available at Royal Albert Hall

About Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is the world’s most famous stage. Over the past 145 years, it has hosted everyone from Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein and Edward Elgar to The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Adele. Last year, its breathtaking auditorium presented 388 events by the world’s greatest performers – taking in rock, pop and classical music, dance, films, Cirque du Soleil and even tennis – with the magical setting and inspired artists creating amazing memories for audiences.

Opened in 1871 to fulfil Prince Albert’s vision of a central hall to promote the arts and sciences, the Hall is a registered charity that remains true to his founding ambitions within a modern context. It hosts over 400 events a year in its secondary space, the Elgar Room, and beyond, broadening the Hall’s appeal to incorporate younger and more diverse audiences.

Its Education & Outreach programme reaches more than 150,000 participants each year, working with schools, young people and the community, as well as other charities such as Music for Youth, as part of its extensive public benefit remit.

Registered charity no: 254543

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