LONDON -Prejudice and hostile attitudes keep the upper echelons of classical music off-limits to many women, arts chief Jude Kelly has said.

The top of the profession is still “a place of too great an absence for women”, she said. “Women still tell me they find orchestras can be hostile, can undermine them deliberately, that executive directors can be sceptical.” Ms Kelly said deliberate decisions to promote female talent had to be taken. “This is not about women doing it for themselves,” she said. “It’s about chaps who run orchestras and people who run music colleges getting behind women.” “People tend to appoint in their own image. It’s a tendency of men to support other, younger men and feel paternalistic towards them.