Falletta addresses topic of women on the podium

Posted on: June 1, 2009

In Sunday’s (5/31) The Washington Post, Anne Midgette interviews conductor JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony. Falletta recently led the National Symphony Orchestra’s Kennedy Center Spring Gala celebrating women in the arts. To Midgette’s question of whether the issue of being a woman conductor is still timely, Falletta says, “It hasn’t gone away. People are still asking those questions. You’d think by now they would be so used to a woman conducting they wouldn’t talk about it. People are less skeptical than they were 15 years ago. In the last five years things have changed. [I see] many young women conducting, [but] not all in visible positions.” Falletta praises the League of American Orchestras’ initiative supporting women conductors, explaining, “Being a conductor is a very lonely thing. We rarely have a chance to talk to any of our colleagues face to face. There’s something very good about being able to call someone, ask questions they’ve been wondering about.” Falletta also discusses programming of contemporary music by women: “If I had been asked 15 years ago where we would be now, I think I would have said far ahead of where we are.”

Posted June 1, 2009