Henderson Symphony and Alexandra Arrieche break gender barrier

Posted on: March 14, 2017

“After 30 years, the Henderson Symphony Orchestra celebrated a first—the hiring of a female music director,” writes Sandy Lopez in Sunday’s (3/12) Las Vegas Review-Journal (Nevada). Alexandra Arrieche, 35, “received a dual arts diploma in orchestral conducting and composing at São Paulo State University in Brazil [and] the 2011 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, founded by conductor Marin Alsop…. Arreiche spent years studying hand movement techniques … but she still faced plenty of discrimination…. The gender mix of musicians has noticeably changed since 1978 in large part because of the widespread adoption of blind auditions, according to a September study by the League of American Orchestras…. Approximately 10 percent of music directors are female and 25 percent of conductors are female.… Said Rachelle Schlosser, director of media relations for the League of American Orchestras, ‘There has been a scarcity of mentors in the field and a lack of support for young girls who want to study conducting…. As prejudices begin to erase, girls are more likely to pursue conducting as a career.’ ” Says John Nasshan, the LPO’s principal percussionist and timpanist, “Alexandra has such a high level of musicianship that it doesn’t matter if she’s a man or woman.”


Posted March 14, 2017

Pictured: Henderson Symphony Orchestra Music Director Alexandra Arrieche leads a rehearsal, March 2, 2017. Photo by Bridget Bennett / Las Vegas Review-Journal