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Examining a push to increase diversity in classical music

Orchestra on stage
Courtesy CSO
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

Classical music has been a staple of society for centuries, however, throughout its history, it has often been closed off to women and people of color.

As of a decade ago, just 5% of compositions at American orchestras were by people of color and women. That is according to a report issued by the Institute for Composer Diversity at SUNY Fredonia. That number recently jumped to nearly 25%, but compositions by these groups is still dwarfed by their white, male counterparts.

Frank Dominguez is part of a local effort to change that. He's the programming director at WDAV, one of the stations taking part in the national Recording Inclusivity Initiative. It aims to highlight the talents of underrepresented composers with the hope of opening more doors to diversity in classical music.

On the next Charlotte Talks, we speak with Dominguez and other composers taking part in this initiative about that effort and how increasing diversity can reshape classical music.


B. E. Boykin, one of the composers nominated for the Recording Inclusivity Initiative
Frank Dominguez, general manager at WDAV
Sequina DuBose, professor of classical and contemporary voice at UNCC and a member of the panel that nominated the composers

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Gabe Altieri is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Prior to joining WFAE in 2022, he worked for WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York.