The job has just gone online. It’s open to men and women and all auditions except the last are behind a screen. The sessions are mid-June, peak of the asparagus season. The winner will join the State Opera orchestra, with a probationary period on the Vienna Phil.
It will be interesting to see how many women and non Europeans apply for this post given the Vienna Phils notorious past reputation for discrimination against women, Asians and god forbid someone with a black skin.
The Vienna Philharmonic (a very fine orchestra) need to be dragged, if necessary, kicking and screaming into the 21st century and told to stop their blatant discrimination against gender and race.
They have been warned numerous times about their practice and threatened with withdrawal of funding from the Austrian government but it would seem all to no avail. Yes, occasionally they sprinkle a few women into the orchestra (noticeably at the New Years Concert televised live throughout the world) but mainly for PR purposes.
They now have a chance to demonstrate that their selection processes are “open and transparent” but I am not holding my breath.
It is worth noting that in its 170+ year history the VPO has only ever been conducted by one woman. Simone Young was actually the first woman to officially conduct the Vienna Philharmonic and she is unquestionably the first woman conductor they have chosen themselves.