Sinfonia Viva, the Grammy-nominated East Midlands’ professional orchestra has joined an international pledge to gender parity.

Viva is one of more than 200 music organisations who have committed to the Keychange 50/50 pledge alongside organisations such as English National Opera and the Barbican.

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative, led by PRS Foundation and supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, which is empowering women to transform the future of the music industry to achieve a 50:50 balance by 2022.

Since the launch of the initiative last year, more than 180 festivals have signed up and committed to programming gender balanced line-ups by 2022 and the PRS Foundation has been recognised for its work with two international awards.

This has now been broadened to invite support from a wider range of music organisations including festivals, conservatoires, orchestras, broadcasters, concert halls, agents and labels.

The focus for orchestras, including Sinfonia Viva, will be on working towards achieving gender balance for composers commissioned, youth company participants, players, board members, award judges, panellists and other aspects of their organisation or company development.

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive Peter Helps said: “As a regional orchestra with a diverse concert and outreach programme, we are always striving to ensure the best possible gender balance. What our pledges do is to ensure we challenge ourselves really well and in all areas of our work

We have worked with some really wonderful inspiring female artists over the years but recognise that there is always more we can do.

“Therefore we support this initiative whole-heartedly, are delighted that we were able to set some really important and challenging and are proud to be playing our part in achieving this goal.”

Vanessa Reed, CEO of PRS Foundation and Founder of Keychange, continued: “It’s really encouraging that major music organisations and independent companies are demonstrating their commitment to gender equality in music alongside hundreds of festivals worldwide.

“From world leading concert halls and orchestras to Bella Union, (the first indie label to approach us), pledge signatories are creating an industry wide movement. This will increase choice, quality and opportunity for future generations of music lovers, industry professionals, music creators and artists.”


Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102; 07951 945665; [email protected]

Note to Editors

Sinfonia Viva

Grammy-nominated Sinfonia Viva is a virtuoso ensemble delivering original and extraordinary creative musical experiences. Founded in 1982, Sinfonia Viva has a national reputation as a leader in creative music activity in the UK. Its work offers relevant and enriching possibilities for all.

Sinfonia Viva is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. For more information about all of Viva’s other performances, visit the website,

About PRS Foundation

PRS Foundation is the UK's leading charitable funder of new music and talent development. Since 2000 PRS Foundation has given more than £32 million to over 6,800 new music initiatives by awarding grants and leading partnership programmes that support music sector development. Widely respected as an adventurous and proactive funding body, PRS Foundation supports an exceptional range of new music activity – from composer residencies and commissions to a network of talent development partners and showcases in the UK and overseas. | @PRSFoundation

About Keychange

Keychange is a pioneering international initiative which transforms the future of music whilst encouraging festivals and music organisations to achieve a 50:50 gender balance by 2022. 60 emerging artists and innovators from across Europe will be invited to international festivals to take part in a series of showcases, collaborations and a programme of creative labs.  Backed up by an innovation fund for the network to test new projects and ideas, Keychange aims to accelerate change and create a better more inclusive music industry for present and future generations.

Keychange is led by PRS Foundation, supported by the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, in partnership with Musikcentrum Sweden, Reeperbahn Festival, Iceland Airwaves, BIME, Tallinn Music Week, Way Out West, Liverpool Sound City and Mutek. Find out more

Arts Council England (ACE)

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.