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Critical Challenges in Classical Music

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CMCI’s Dr Christina Scharff has been extremely busy with not one but two classical music events. First was a conference “Classical Music: Critical Challenges”, the second in a series of debates on contemporary practice. The event, organised along with Anna Bull (Goldsmiths, University of London), featured speakers from Canada, the US and the United Kingdom, and represented the views of academics along with practitioners such as the Musicians’ Union. You can find further information on the conference together with the abstracts at: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/artshums/depts/cmci/eventrecords/2014/classical-music-critical-challenges.aspx

The second was: “Ain’t I a woman?” a public event aimed at uncovering inequalities in classical music as part of this year’s Arts & Humanities Festival here at King’s. Working again with Anna Bull, Christina’s event  kicked off with a performance of Sojourner Truth’s 1851 speech ‘Ain’t I a woman?’ by the musician and composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson. Christina presented the findings from her ESRC-funded research on inequalities in the classical music profession and the conductor Alice Farnham talked about women conductors at Morley, a programme she co-founded to encourage women into the profession. The classical music journalist, novelist and playwright Jessica Duchen discussed gender inequalities in the classical music world and concluded with a call to speak out against them.

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