Diversity and Equality isn’t only about the here and now; it is about the re-discovery, re-telling and re-interpretation of the past that can change our understanding of history. If you were a woman, if you were from a background other one that is associated with the 'Western world', if you had a disability... there were many barriers to people who did not 'conform' to societal defaults in one way or another, and we know that these people had to work even harder to have their music noticed and appreciated by the wider world. We also know that this still happens in the here and now.

With that in mind, here are a couple of these 'non-conformers' plus a little something extra to give a (rightful) platform to people who should have had a better one in the first place...

A mixed-race, 16th century Portuguese / African composer you have likely never heard of? Introducing Vincente Lusitano, who went to Rome, argued with fellow musicians about music theory, changed his faith and moved to Stuttgart, all whilst writing lovely things like this: 

Also – this would NEVER have been performed by women in its own time... Strictly boys and men only in church and cathedral choirs then, which unfortunately persists in some places to this day.

Or how about a Venezuelan composer and pianist, who played at the White House, and several times at the Proms? Teresa Carreño had what we would call a ‘European classical’ music training, and if you had to guess where this came from, or who it was by, you’d probably say it was by Chopin, rather than from a brilliant female, South American composer:

And that’s what Diversity and Equality means for us - not so much about the 'level playing field', but about the things that used to stop certain people even before they reached the pitch!