JoAnn Falletta on her conducting career, and pace of progress for other women conductors

Posted on: February 27, 2018

“Patiently, earnestly, female conductors have been waiting their turn,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (2/22) Philadelphia Inquirer. “In fact, there has been progress; Marin Alsop has been music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for more than a decade…. Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, Emmanuelle Haïm, Jane Glover, Nathalie Stutzmann, Karina Canellakis, Susanna Mälkki, Xian Zhang, and several others are getting high-profile … work…. Are female conductors finally arriving? ‘I think they are, and, in some ways, it happened suddenly,’ says JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. ‘For some of us for years we were thinking that it would just open up gradually and be a crescendo of women appearing. But it seemed to be stalled for a bit…. All of these decades women have been studying, filling spots in smaller orchestras…. The presence of women composers on symphonic programs is still so small,’ she says, adding that she relishes in such repertoire an opportunity that perhaps does not come with other works.… ‘It’s like waiting for a book to be opened that’s never been opened before.… That is what we should do—take risks. We should never underestimate our audiences.’ ” Falletta is also music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra.

Posted February 27, 2018

JoAnn Falletta photo by David Adam Beloff