QUOTE(flobiano @ Apr 13 2012, 07:49 PM)
Anyone else watching this? No girls/ women either competing in or judging the piano semi final. I find that a bit odd to be honest.
Interestingly over the other 4 categories it is split exactly 50:50 between girls and boys.
The adjudicators for the strings and woodwind categories (Rosie Biss, Lesley Hatfield, Emma Johnson, and Juliette Bausor) are all women, which I find fairly unremarkable. We could equally have had, say, Boris Garlitsky, Pieter Schoeman, John Anderson, and Michael Collins, which I would have found similarly unremarkable. When we are looking at panels of two category specialists it would be unreasonable to expect to balance, say, Vasko Vassilev with Alina Ibragimova.
It might be more interesting to ask why out of 14 judges (7 men and 7 women) all 14 are white. Looking at the ethnic breakdown of the UK (about 8 percent non-white) we might have expect to see at least one black or Asian member of the judging panel. On the other hand, we of course would not expect to see any black or Asian judges, as the senior ranks of the British music world are almost uniformly white, exceptions such as Sir Willard White, Wayne Marshall, and Chi-chi Nwanoku being few and far between. Looking at the competitors, 4 or 5 out of 25 appear to have east Asian origins, which is hugely disproportionate considering that these ethnic groups make up less than 1 percent of the population of the UK. One competitor appears to have some sort of black heritage, which statistically is about right. With nearly 4 percent of people in the UK being of south Asian ethnicity we ought perhaps to be surprised that there is no competitor representing these ethnic groups.
Of course, I am well aware that the problem is not that the BBC has shown any prejudice in favour of or against any particular ethnic group, but that musical achievement in this country is heavily biased towards white and east Asian ethnicities. In fact, a similar pattern is replicated even in the breakdown of concert audiences. Here in London, a city with a population that is nearly one-quarter black and south Asian, I am able to go to sell-out performances at the Royal Opera House and at all of the main concert halls and count the number of black and south Asian people in single figures, if any. Does this trend strike anybody else as worrying? As a white Londoner I feel a considerable unease when I am able to count as remarkable the fact that I once sat behind two black people at the London Coliseum.