Definitions | Diversity in the Orchestra Field 2023
- Orchestra: Symphony orchestra. Youth orchestra data is included only for the following analyses: top executives; music directors; and conductors, including assistant conductors and music directors.
- Larger budget orchestras: Orchestras with annual operating budgets of $3 million and above, corresponding roughly to League of American Orchestras budget groups 1-3.
- Smaller-to-medium budget orchestras: Orchestras with annual operating budgets of $3 million and below, corresponding roughly to League of American Orchestras budget groups 4-8.
- Musician: All professional musicians performing with the orchestra, including musician fellows. Note: musician fellow representation ranges from 0.08% of all reported musicians in 2013, to 0.2% in 2023. The inclusion of musician fellows does not alter the racial/ethnic group trendlines we report.
- Conductor: Non-music director conductor roles including assistant, resident, pops, and chorus conductors.
- Music director: All music director roles, regardless of the number of weeks per year worked or distinct programs conducted. Music directors assume a higher level of artistic responsibility than other conductors and may also undertake a wider range of organizational duties such as fundraising and media work.
- Conductors, including assistant conductors and music directors: Both conductors and music directors, as defined above.
- Staff member: Full-time, part-time, and seasonal salaried employees.
- Top executive: Chief executive officer, executive director, and/or president of the orchestra staff.
- Board member: Full board members only (does not include individuals who serve on committees but have not been officially appointed to the board).
Racial/Ethnic Category Terms (U.S. Census Definitions)
- American Indian and Alaska Native: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains a tribal affiliation or community attachment.
- Asian or Asian American: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of East Asia, Southeast Asia, or the Indian Subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- Black or African American: A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
- Hispanic/Latinx: A person of Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin regardless of race. Including all individuals who indicated Hispanic/Latinx AND any other race.
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: A person having origins in any of the peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa or other Pacific Islands.
- Multiracial: All individuals indicating Multiracial, excluding those who indicated Hispanic/Latinx.
- White: A person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, West Asia, or North Africa. Note: This categorization fails to recognize the unique experiences of people identifying as Arab, West Asian, and North African.
- BIPOC: Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Gender terms (Human Rights Commission Definition)
- Nonbinary: Nonbinary people may self-identify as transgender, transsexual, intersex, genderqueer, female-to-male, and male-to-female.
- Pandemic years: We define 2020-2022, the years when orchestras’ operations were most affected, as the pandemic years.
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- Key Findings
- Technical Notes
- Detailed Analysis 1: By Orchestra Role (see full PDF)
- Detailed Analysis 2: By Demographic Group (see full PDF)
- Detailed Analysis 3: By Role and Budget Size (see full PDF)
- Detailed Analysis 4: Focus on the Pandemic Years (see full PDF)
- Appendix 1: Methodology
- Appendix 2: Stories of Progress in Orchestras
- Appendix 3: References
This project was supported in part by an award from the Research Grants in the Arts program at the National Endowment for the Arts, Grant #1863433-38-20. Additional funding was provided by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.