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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Lack of diversity in top orchestras remains a major challenge for musicians of color | NBCNews.com


Most classical music professionals in major symphony orchestras around the country are white, according to the League of American Orchestras.

Nathaniel Taylor, 25, is trying to pursue a professional cello performance career playing the instrument he loves by breaking into the austere world of classical music.
Photo: NBC

Nathaniel Taylor was 5-years-old when the deep, mellow sounds of a cello being played on Sesame Street commanded his attention. Elmo was the interviewer. World-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma was the musician.

Years later, when he began learning the cello, classical music stole his heart.

Now Taylor, 25, is trying to pursue a professional career playing the instrument he loves, but he'll need to break into the austere world of classical music for that to happen. That's a path filled with a numerous challenges — arguably more so for Taylor, who's half African-American and half Filipino.

Most classical music professionals in major symphony orchestras around the country are white, according to the League of American Orchestras. That includes well-known conservatories like The Julliard School, The Curtis Institute, and the New England Conservatory, to name a few.

As a result, America’s orchestras don’t look as diverse cities they serve. African-Americans make up 1.8 percent of orchestras nationwide while Hispanics make up 2.5 percent, according to an industry-wide study.

Those statistics inspired several performing arts organizations to form the National Alliance for Audition Support, which prepares talented musicians of color for auditions. 
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Source: NBCNews.com


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