Baton counts: women conductors in San Francisco

Posted on: June 27, 2019

“Prompted by lavish, unanimous, and well-deserved praise for Eun Sun Kim’s conducting of the San Francisco Opera’s hit production of Rusalka, San Francisco Classical Voice looked back on decades of writing about the struggle of women to gain a foothold on the podiums of major musical organizations, and we set out to create a record of this drive locally,” writes Janos Gereben in Monday’s (6/24) San Francisco Classical Voice. “In the last two score years … Marin Alsop, Simone Young, Xian Zhang, Alice Farnham, Susanna Mälkki, Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla, Alondra de la Parra, and many others have emerged.” The San Francisco Symphony has “an impressively large list, initially compiled for SFCV by S.F. Symphony Director of Public Relations Robin Freeman…. The first woman to lead SFS in a summer concert was Antonia Brico, on Aug. 26, 1930, in the Civic Auditorium…. Decades passed after 1930 before Sarah Caldwell became the first woman to lead the S.F. Symphony in a subscription concert in 1977.” The SFS conductor list also includes Thea Musgrave, Jane Glover, Susanna Mälkki, Simone Young, Karina Canellakis, and Gemma New, who leads the orchestra this July. The article includes a comparable listing for the San Francisco Opera. 

Posted June 27, 2019

In photo: Conductor Eun Sun Kim studies the score to Rusalka at the San Francisco Opera. Photo credit: Cory Weaver