Alsop: “Even now I encounter sexism”

Posted on: September 4, 2013

As she prepares to become the first female conductor to lead the Last Night of the Proms concert this Saturday at London’s Royal Albert Hall, Marin Alsop writes a lengthy editorial in Tuesday’s (9/3) Evening Standard (London) about the role of women conductors. “The fact that there can still be firsts for women in 2013 is what should really grab our collective attention!… Even now I do encounter blatant sexism. Sometimes I can only respond by laughing. How else could I have reacted when I gave a press conference in Italy a few years ago and the first question from a journalist was ‘Do you cook?’ Seriously? … I have the great privilege now of heading two world-class orchestras on two continents, the São Paulo and Baltimore Symphonies…. To help other women conductors I founded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship in 2002. I named the fellowship after my non-musical mentor, Tomio Taki, who helped me found my first orchestra, the Concordia Orchestra.… Three of our eight fellowship winners are now music directors of American orchestras, and the others are actively working in the profession. Enabling musicians and audiences to experience a wide variety of women on the podiums of the world will inevitably lead to more success for women at the top of my field.”

Posted September 4, 2013