Our Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Last Updated: 23 October 2020
London Mozart Players is committed to fostering a positive culture where all staff, musicians and community members can flourish. We recognise that conforming and belonging are not the same thing and want to create an environment where no one will feel compelled to conceal or play down elements of their identity for fear of being stigmatised.
We pride ourselves on delivering excellence not only musically, but in the way we run our charity as an organisation. Ensuring that we are inclusive and diverse is vital to that excellence, as it is only through the sharing of diverse ideas and perspectives that we can realise our mission of providing access to classical music to everyone, everywhere. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion goes above and beyond mere compliance with legally protected characteristics and box-ticking exercises, and instead seeks to understand and appreciate all of the differences that make each of us who we are.
We are acutely aware that Western classical music has historically been the domain of the affluent and most educated in society, as well as being predominantly white. As an orchestra who has its home in the cosmopolitan melting point of Croydon and a growing global audience, we are conscious of and take very seriously the need to ensure that our work is reflective of the audiences that we seek to serve, cutting across the intersections of race, gender, wealth and education.
Over the next 18 months, we will have a renewed focus on increasing diversity and inclusion in our work, with particular attention being given to the following practice areas:
Recruitment and selection of musicians
For several years now, it has been our practice to hold “blind” auditions in which prospective musicians play unseen behind screens. Whilst this is effective in ensuring that players are judged purely on the merits of their abilities, we realise there is more we can do to expand the pool of musicians who make it to the audition stage to begin with. To this end, we will be working with partners who can help us increase our understanding of the barriers within our existing recruitment process and help us access more diverse candidate pools to encourage greater representation of musicians from minoritized ethnic groups.
Recruitment and selection of staff
Whilst we currently have representation from BAME communities within our staff team, there is currently little representation from these communities at trustee level and this needs to be addressed. One of our key priorities will be to recruit a new trustee to lead on diversity and inclusion for the whole organisation so that we have dedicated resource to support this.
We want to uphold our reputation for bold, ambitious programming which adheres to classical tradition and makes room for genre-crossing contemporary music. More than this, we want to present music that is relevant to our audiences and draws on the rich cultural exchanges we have established by working with international artists and touring, both in the UK and abroad. Over the next 18 months, our programming will continue to feature soloists and guest artists from diverse backgrounds and will be actively extending our repertoire to include compositions by black classical composers and newly commissioned pieces from artists of other backgrounds.
However great our aspirations to improve our diversity and inclusiveness, we recognise that the current makeup and composition of our orchestra could prove to be a barrier in itself. Whilst we invest our energies in changing our organisation from the inside, we accept that we will need help from external partners who may be better placed than we are to provide the representation and first-hand experiences needed to inspire our audiences. This is particularly the case in our community and education work with young people. As such, we will seek partnerships through which we can provide aspirational role models drawn from young people’s peer groups as well as musicians who are already well established.
We do not see the current strategy as the definitive answer to achieving inclusion but feel this is an important starting point that will help us move beyond virtue signalling to meaningful action and ultimately, change. We hope and expect that the next 18 months will help us to learn valuable lessons that might mean we won’t need a strategy at all in future – this will simply just be the way that we work.