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Many industries and institutions realize the value of diversity in improving creativity, innovation and productivity and are adopting policies to improve diversity. Professional symphony orchestras, however, were late in adopting this movement and the data reflects that. A 2015 report by the League of American Orchestras indicates that 86% of musicians in adult orchestras are white. Furthermore, the same study indicates that racial diversity decreases from youth to professional orchestras (League of American Orchestras 2015). The purpose of this research project is to analyze data from music conservatories to indicate a change in diversity over time as well as further inquire about why there is a much smaller percentage of black and Latinx symphonic musicians in professional orchestras than in youth orchestras. Music conservatories are institutions focused on education in musical performance and composition. These institutions are the university style institutions that accept the best high school graduates from youth orchestras and prepare those students for professional careers in music. Ultimately, as I hypothesized, I was able to determine that as of 2015, minority representation in music conservatories is less than in youth orchestras but greater than in adult orchestras. Through learning about the orchestra pipeline, we can find ways to increase minority representation in American orchestras.

Symposium Date

Fall 12-1-2012


diversity in the workplace, orchestra, conservatories of music



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Orchestral Diversity: Analyzing Diversity in Music Conservatories

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