Orchestrating change at Dallas Symphony’s second Women in Classical Music Symposium

Posted on: October 30, 2020

Principal Guest Conductor Gemma New leads the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, March 6, 2020. Photo by Brandon Wade

Women are “underrepresented in orchestras and opera companies as conductors and programmed composers,” writes Tim Diovanni in Wednesday’s (10/28) Dallas Morning News. “The DSO’s second annual [virtual and in-person] Women in Classical Music Symposium will explore these issues Nov. 8-11 [with] between 200 and 250 participants…. Leading into the symposium are ‘Female Pioneer’ concerts featuring violinist Hilary Hahn and conductor Marin Alsop…. At the symposium, Hahn also will be receiving an Award of Excellence from the DSO…. During the DSO symposium, mostly female musicians and administrators will participate in roundtables, panel discussions and workshops covering topics including performance anxiety and career paths…. In recent decades, the DSO has supported several [assistant and associate] female conductors [and] in 2018 Gemma New became its first female principal guest conductor…. Still, female conductors are the minority, particularly in directorship positions.… Progress has already been made in administration. These days, according to a report by the League of American Orchestras, top executives in orchestras are roughly divided between the sexes…. ‘It’s a sea change from when I first started in the business,’ says [New York Philharmonic President and CEO] Deborah Borda…. She’ll be receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the symposium.”