Women are on the retreat in London's Big Three orchestras. No female conductors appear on the 2013-14 schedules of the LSO, LPO and Philharmonia. That's a 100% drop from 2012-13, when at least Marin Alsop is granted one opportunity with the LPO.
Could it be that Marin Alsop is the only female conductor in the world? Or are women just not cut out to lead an orchestra?
It's a tired old complaint, but it seems the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment have a different answer. And it doesn't involve any excuses.
Out of eleven OAE Southbank concerts so far announced for 2013-14, one is conducted by a woman, and a further three are conductorless events led or directed by female musicians. While four out of eleven doesn't quite add up to gender equality, it's still an impressive one third of of the total.
And it's not a quirk of timing either. Two of the OAE's remaining five 2012-14 Southbank concerts are conducted or directed by a woman - ever closer to that elusive 50%.
So why the difference between the OAE and the rest? There's nothing particularly ladylike about the OAE's female-led repertoire, which ranges from Vivaldi to Schumann, and includes those male bastions Beethoven and Bach. And while there's an argument to be made for engaging the baton-wielding elite likes of Haitink or Rattle rather than some obscure woman, it doesn't hold when you look at some of the younger and less-known male names on next season's rosters.
Could it be that the OAE have simply spotted that some women can do the job, then gone ahead and hired them?