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MU Partners With Her Ensemble To Celebrate Women’s History Month 2023

This Women’s History Month the MU is excited to be partnering with Her Ensemble, a free-form group who are challenging classical music norms, gender stereotypes, dress codes and more.

Published: 03 March 2023 | 1:10 PM Updated: 03 March 2023 | 3:31 PM
Woman center stage performing with an ensemble of other women.
“We can’t wait to connect with members, share experiences, and explore topics related to gender." Image credit: Gaynor Perry/Her Ensemble.

Women’s History Month runs 1-31 March 2023. During this time Her Ensemble will be sharing playlists alongside blog posts, as well as rounding off the month with an online panel with some members of the group on Friday 31 March.

Challenging the status quo in classical music

Her Ensemble was formed in November 2020 after discovering that in 2019, just 3.6% of the classical music pieces performed worldwide were written by women.

The collective was founded and is run by violinist Ellie Consta, and aims to make a positive impact on the gender gap and gender stereotypes in the industry by shining a light on music written by women and creating equitable opportunities for creatives of diverse genders - the first of its kind in the UK. Merging aspects from classical and pop scenes, the group uses fashion as a means to encourage self expression, challenging the status quo and creating relaxed performance environments to make classical music accessible to everyone.

In just under 2 years, the group have released an EP with Sony and Esther Abrami reaching over 150,000 streams in the first month, as well as feature film scores shown at the BFI Festival, appeared on BBC Women’s Hour and influenced major UK orchestras to change their dress codes in order to be more gender inclusive with Tik Toks that went viral.

More recently they have had several features on Radio (Radio 3, Scala and Classic FM) and have been featured in ‘Pink News’ and ‘Clash Mag’. Her Ensemble have gained recognition as Classic FM’s ‘Young Classical Stars’ in November 2022. The group have also collaborated with artists such as Victoria Canal, Pixie Lott, Caitlyn Scarlett and Jordan Rakei.

As well as bringing classical music to more atypical concert venues such as clubs, Her Ensemble have performed in the RAH Elgar Room, Stoller Hall and have given masterclasses and workshops at Chetham’s School of Music, Royal Academy of Music, European Union Youth Orchestra and will be working with the RNCM and Leeds Conservatoire. 

"We can’t wait to connect with members and share experiences"

Ellie Consta, founder of Her Ensemble, says:

“We are so excited and honoured to be partnering with the MU this Women’s History Month! As a group that formed to positively impact the gender gap and gender stereotypes in the industry, we couldn’t think of a more meaningful collaboration with such a supportive organisation who share our values.

“We can’t wait to connect with members, share experiences, and explore topics related to gender, in order to create awareness within the industry and work towards a more equitable and inclusive future."

John Shortell, MU Head of EDI, says:

“Her Ensemble are a really exciting group to be working with this Women’s History Month. Their approach to tackling gender inequality is intersectional and truly inclusive.

“The ensemble has already had a massive impact on the industry and working together this Womens History Month, we hope to expand the work of the MU and Her Ensemble and engage new and existing audiences in our work to achieve an equitable music industry that works for all women and non-binary musicians.”

Soundtrack your Women’s History Month

Her Ensemble have put together two amazing playlists for you to soundtrack your month, with music by female and non-binary musicians.

Book your place at the MU x Her Ensemble panel discussion

On Friday 31 March, members of Her Ensemble will come together to discuss key issues for women and non-binary musicians, exploring topics such as gender, sexuality, race, identity, social media, classism, and how we can make positive progress together.

There will also be the opportunity to ask Her Ensemble questions at the end of the panel discussion.

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