Female Orchestral Conductors and the “glass ceiling” (or should that be cast iron ceiling?)

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Last week I received my annual free 7-day access ticket for the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestral concerts for the 2015/16 season that are broadcast live on the internet. Along with this came a very nice brochure showing the full programmes for the coming season.

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So I spent a little time viewing the various concerts and then something struck me as I looked at the various conductors engaged to lead the Berliners, there was not one woman who had been invited as a guest conductor.

Now I know I have gone down this path several times before but I still find it incredulous that in the 21st century many of the worlds leading orchestras still seem unable (or unwilling) to give opportunities to what is a growing band of talented female conductors currently forging strong reputations in the musical world.

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I then thought, “I wonder if things are changing in other orchestras around the world?” So onto the internet I go and bring up the seasons programmes for a number of leading orchestras (chosen at random) and after careful review I can tell you that the number of women engaged to conduct in the 2015/16 season are as follows:-

Chicago Symphony Orchestra                               1

London Symphony Orchestra                                0

Vienna Philharmonic                                               0

Dallas Symphony Orchestra                                    0

Halle Orchestra                                                           0

Oslo Philharmonic                                                      2*

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I wonder how much longer this blatant discrimination against female conductors will continue?

* Interesting that the Oslo Philharmonic has at least got 2, even more so in view of Vasily Petrenkos (their Musical director) comments a little while ago that “male conductors are better than their female counterparts as they provide less of a distraction”…………you can imagine how well that went down!

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This entry was posted in 21st century, Cklassical music. Female Conductors, Classical Music, Conductors, Discrimination, Employability, Equality, Germany, Misogyny, Norway, Power, Tradition, USA, Women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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