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Ed Vaizey: ‘no excuse’ for lack of diversity in British orchestras

25th January 2016

British orchestras must make “a real step change” to allow a wider diversity of backgrounds into their ranks, according to culture minister, Ed Vaizey.

In a strongly worded appeal to a group of musicians and orchestral managers inBirmingham on Friday night, the minister put pressure on leaders in the music world to do more.

“I appreciate that these diverse musicians may not be able to spring fully formed to take their place in an orchestra, but I refuse to accept diverse talent isn’t out there and I really do want to see people being given opportunities where they can,” he told those gathered in Birmingham Town Hall for the closing session of the Association of British Orchestras’ annual conference.

Picking up themes aired last week by British actor Idris Elba following the announcement of a white slate of nominees for this year’s Oscars, Vaizey said he hoped to see the Arts Council of England working with the ABO and the orchestras themselves to “really grab this agenda by the scruff of the neck, make it work and have an impact”.

He said no one was yet doing enough to impose clear targets on diversity in music.

Read more on the Guardian website

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