In Germany's 129 publicly funded orchestras, four out of ten musicians are female. In section leader and soloist positions of highly remunerated orchestras, the share of women is only 22%.

In 2020, the German Music Information Centre examined gender ratios among musicians of all 129 publicly funded professional symphony and chamber orchestras in Germany. A total of 9,884 musicians were employed in the orchestras.

Abbildung: Cover der Studie

The analysis revealed that, on average, 39.6% of orchestra members in German professional orchestras are women. In highly remunerated orchestras, the share of women is lowest, especially in leadership positions: In these 21 orchestras with the highest pay scales, only 21.9% of higher positions such as concertmaster, section leader and soloist are held by women on average. In total, women are underrepresented in higher positions of orchestras with an average share of 28.4%. In lower positions such as tutti, women are almost on a par with their male colleagues, with a share of 47.5%.

Men and women are distributed differently across the individual sections. The highest shares of women are found in the harps (93.7%), flutes (65.4%) and 2nd violins (62.6%), while the highest proportions of men are found in the tuba (98.1%), trombone (96.5%) and timpani/percussion (95.4%).

The full study report (PDF) is available only in German.

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