ProMusica Chamber Orchestra’s Janet Chen on narrowing the male-female gap for top orchestra jobs

Posted on: February 16, 2018

“Janet Chen is the longest tenured—and one of the youngest ever to earn the position of—executive director of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra,” reports Karina Nova on Thursday (2/15) at TV station WBNS-10TV (Columbus, OH). “She’s been with the orchestra since 2006, after moving back to Ohio from Taiwan, where she played in the symphony. For Chen, being a female in this role means giving the orchestra balance. ‘We still need to forge ahead. If we consider that conductors are male dominant, having a female Executive Director to balance that energy in terms of what makes an orchestra thrive, it’s incredibly powerful,’ Chen said…. According to the League of American Orchestras, 14.6 percent of U.S. orchestral conductors (including music directors, associate, assistant, resident, youth orchestra, pops and chorus conductors) are female…. When it comes to U.S. orchestral music directors, in 2016 just 9.2 percent were female. There is some positive news for women; since 1978, the percentage of women instrumentalists has gone from 38.2 percent to nearly 50 percent. This narrowing of the gap is considered by researchers and other experts to be because of blind auditions being instated at orchestras in the ’70s and ’80s.”

Posted February 16, 2018