The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Sexism still greets women conductors. | October 13, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

Well, isn’t this an unpleasant and unexpected surprise – lo, these many years later and into the 21st century.

Given all the progress that women have made over the past few decades in so many fields and professions including classical music, you might think that the question about whether they have the strength, stamina or smarts to be a conductor would be a totally moot or meaningless question by this point.

But you would be wrong.

Just take a look at the story – and follow the various links in it to other essays and analyses — on the “Deceptive Cadence” blog at NPR to see that the forces of sexism are still trying to shut out or belittle the achievement of women conductors.

Take the American conductors as Marin Alsop (below top) of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra, who also was the first woman in 118 to conduct the BBC Proms concerts in England concerts this summer (in a YouTube video at the  bottom) and who sells a lot pf CDs for Naxos Records;  and such as  JoAnn Falletta of the Buffalo Philharmonic (below middle in a photo by Cheryl Gorski). Or take the Australian conductor Simone Young (below bottom) of the Hamburg State Opera.

Marin Alsop 2

conducting_joann_falletta

simone young 

Locally, we have heard great concerts at the Madison Symphony Orchestra from the firecracker Finnish guest conductor Anu Tali (below).

Anu Tali

Here is a link to the story that you should read and listen to, and then react to in the COMMENTS section of this blog.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/10/09/230751348/what-is-classical-musics-women-problem

Read and listen to it and let us know what you think about what should be done about women conductors and the sexism they face.

The Ear wants to hear.

 


6 Comments »

  1. […] controversy (amongst many other incidents which have been getting a healthy amount of press and blog posts lately) are any indication. In a field (at least here in the US) where blind auditions were […]

    Pingback by Young Audiences (part 1): Hollywood, Classical Music, and the costs of Social Justice | Poco Mojo — March 11, 2017 @ 9:21 am

  2. […] controversy (amongst many other incidents which have been getting a healthy amount of press and blog posts lately). In a field (at least here in the US) where blind auditions were instituted to help […]

    Pingback by Young Audiences (part 1): Hollywood, Classical Music, and the costs of Social Justice | Mae Mai — October 13, 2014 @ 9:01 am

  3. Jake,

    This whole sexism issue reminds me of a female who won a blind trombone audition with the Berlin Phil but was then told they wouldn’t hire her. Can’t remember her name now, but she filed suit in German court and eventually won her position, figuratively and literally. Von Karajan wound up eating the symbolic crow. Sure sounds like the Paris Conservatory head is living in the 18th instead of the 21st century. Keep up the great work.

    Larry Retzack

    Comment by Larry Retzack — November 23, 2013 @ 7:07 pm

  4. […] Classical music: Sexism still greets women conductors. (welltempered.wordpress.com) […]

    Pingback by Why is classical music still as white as ever? | Media Diversity UK — October 22, 2013 @ 4:53 am

  5. Hi Beverly,
    So good to know your read the blog and then replied.
    Thank you.
    No, I don’t know the book you co-authored.
    But it certainly seems relevant to the topic of today’s post.
    I thought, in fact, of including you for your UW choral position and as assistant conductor of the Madison Symphony Orchestra. But instead I decided to stick to a few with international bases.
    Maybe you would like to write something as a guest blogger to be posted?
    As far as talking with you, you have m all my contact info.
    I would love to hear from you.
    Best,
    Jake

    Comment by welltemperedear — October 13, 2013 @ 7:55 pm

  6. Hey, Jake, can we talk? Do you know about the book I’m a co-author of? Wisdom, Wit and Will: Women Conductors on their choral art. Lots of info…… Bev

    Comment by Beverly Taylor — October 13, 2013 @ 4:14 pm


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