Showing posts with label Marin Alsop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marin Alsop. Show all posts

Friday, February 05, 2016

How I didn't quite meet Helen Mirren, and other stories

This is one busy week.

If you missed me and Marin Alsop on BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour yesterday, you can listen to it online, here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06z4w7r. We're the very first item on the programme, talking about the bizarre story of the Schumann Violin Concerto, its suppression and its recovery, and Marin's view of the music, and my novel. But with much regret, we didn't meet Helen Mirren in the Green Room!

Meanwhile, we all enjoyed the excellent discussion evening, Music into Words, on Tuesday at Senate House. It proved extremely stimulating and seems to have got everyone's grey matter into a tingle. Simon Brackennorough talked about his site, Corymbus, and why he created it; Mary Nguyen revealed that she attended 64 operas last year, blogging and reviewing for online outlets; I took a fond look back to the days of galley proofs and cowgum, marvelled over the opportunities the internet has brought our way and speculated on the likelihood that writing about music really is like dancing about architecture. Imogen Tilden of The Guardian told us about some of the harsh realities of traditional print journalism.

Audience questions were plentiful and fascinating and prompted revelations from the fact, cited by Simon, that medieval historians are a lot better at social media than the traditional classical world (with the possible exceptions of Stephen Hough, Steven Isserlis and Peter Donohoe); and when asked who we are writing for - who our "internal reader" really is - a temporarily psychoanalytical reaction revealed to me that mine is actually my mum (even though she died 22 years ago next week).

Frances Wilson of The Cross-Eyed Pianist, who chaired the discussion, had everything filmed, so here is my chunk, and you can find Simon's here and more from Mary here.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

How Marin is changing the world

A few weeks ago I went to listen to Marin Alsop giving masterclasses for young women conductors and had a terrific interview with her. She is not one to pull her punches on "the women conductors thing". The piece is in the Independent today, ahead of her concerts with the OAE in Basingstoke on Thursday and the Royal Festival Hall on Saturday - the one with the Schumann Violin Concerto.

I'm delighted to say that she and I will be on BBC Radio 4 'Woman's Hour' tomorrow to talk about the story of the Schumann Violin Concerto. Plus I'm now joining the panel for the pre-concert talk at the RFH on Saturday (5.45pm) where we'll be discussing music, mental illness, Schumann, the Concerto and more.

Here's a taster of the article and you can read the rest here.

Marin Alsop's selfie at the Last Night of the Proms
Some conductors who are female are outraged if one raises “the women conductors thing”. Why are we still talking about this? Isn't it time to forget it and just get on with making music? Alsop, though, faces the issue head on – and she is perfectly happy to bring it out into the open. 

“People ask why a course like this is necessary, and I think it's a disingenuous question,” she says. “It's only necessary because of the reality. It's not something I'm making up. I'm just reacting to the landscape.” There is no point, she suggests, trying to deny that there are too few women conductors, or that they face problems different from those experienced by their male colleagues – both in terms of that glass ceiling protecting prestigious posts and in how the details of their artistry are perceived.

“Because I have quite a thick skin, I don't mind being the one out front, trying to elbow my way in,” she adds. “But I think, as that person out front, it's important for me to create a pathway for people coming through. I don't want it to be so hard for the next generations.”

Monday, February 01, 2016

Eight and a half days...

I have a busy week ahead! Please come and join in if you can make it to any of these. One, of course, only involves your kitchen radio.

TUESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY: MUSIC INTO WORDS
Fran Wilson of The Cross-Eyed Pianist has organised a wonderful evening at Senate House, Bloomsbury, in which five speakers - academic Mark Berry (Boulezian), blogger and editor Simon Brackenbury (Corymbus), journalist Mary Nguyen, Imogen Tilden of The Guardian, and I - will be speaking about the agonies and ecstasies and everything in between of writing about music, and doing our best to answer audience questions. Is it really like dancing about architecture? The event is now sold out, but you can still take part by tweeting your questions with the hashtag #musicintowords. More info at the Facebook page here.

THURSDAY 4 FEBRUARY: JD & MARIN ALSOP ON BBC RADIO 4 'WOMAN'S HOUR'
I'm honoured to be joining Marin Alsop in the Woman's Hour studio to talk about Schumann, the Violin Concerto and Jelly d'Arányi. The confluence of GHOST VARIATIONS and the OAE's performance of the concerto on Saturday night seems a perfect excuse and I'm really pleased this is happening. Listen online here.

SATURDAY 6 FEBRUARY: SCHUMANN VIOLIN CONCERTO
It's the Schumann Violin Concerto at the Royal Festival Hall! I'm looking forward to attending this with a group of GHOST VARIATIONS supporters. (You can also hear this programme in Basingstoke on Thursday 4 February.) http://www.oae.co.uk

SUNDAY 7 FEBRUARY: ALICIA'S GIFT AT ST MARY'S, PERIVALE
Viv McLean and I are giving the first of our three February ALICIA'S GIFT performances - 3pm at St Mary's Perivale, my favourite "sacred space" place. The 12th-century church, tucked away behind the A40, is worth a visit in itself, but it's a fabulous venue to enjoy music at intimate quarters, so if you're a west Londoner or you just fancy coming to check it out, please join us. The programme also includes some gorgeous songs from soprano Sarah Gabriel with Viv at the piano. The story of the child prodigy pianist Alicia and her impact upon her family forms the second half of the concert. Admission free, with a collection at the end.

TUESDAY 9 FEBRUARY: ALICIA'S GIFT AT HAMPTON COURT HOUSE
Viv and I are taking ALICIA'S GIFT to Hampton Court House - an extraordinary historical venue across the road from Hampton Court Palace. It's a magnificent mansion that these days is home to an interesting international school whose headmaster, Guy Holloway, has been in the news recently advocating a later start to the school day for teenagers. After the performance we're having a panel discussion about child prodigies, in which Guy will take part along with myself and Hugh Mather, artistic director of St Mary's Perivale, who I'm sure has encountered prodigies aplenty. 7pm arrival for 7.30pm, tickets available on the door.


Speaking of prodigies...I'm mildly disconcerted to discover that the latest on the scene, little Alma Deutscher, has a father who shares a name with that of my Alicia. Besides sharing her own initial. This is pure and mere, if weird, coincidence. She was born in 2005, the year I started writing ALICIA'S GIFT. Alma has been playing her own violin concerto with some big orchestras and has been signed up by Askonas Holt aged 10. Here's what happened when David Lister at the Independent met her last week. 

Monday, September 09, 2013

My first (real) Last Night


I was here the other night... Yep, Last Night of the Proms. Sneaky admission: I've been watching it on TV for decades, thinking about how amazing it must be to experience it. Last time I tried to go it was 2001, two days after 9/11, and the entire jamboree was ditched. This, though, was the real thing.

There's nothing else like it anywhere else, that's for sure. It may be crazy - it is crazy - but still, it felt like a true celebration of everything that we've experienced in that hall in the last two months, and of everything it stands for: great music for all, shared with love, open enthusiasm and absolute dedication.

There couldn't have been finer choices for the soloists. Nigel Kennedy, in case you wondered, is a truly mesmerising violinist. Nigel is Nigel and you take him as you find him: what other musician would trot on for the LNOP in a football shirt and carrying a cup of tea? Yet if his appearance bothers you, that's your problem, not his, because his playing is exquisite. The Lark Ascending was hushed, loving, sensitive, breathtaking. As for the Csardas, those who object to improvisatory interjections might do well to reflect that that is the genuine bit. Vittorio Monti is fake Gypsy music; Nigel improvising is the real thing. Nigel gets away with everything he gets away with - even bursting one of Marin's pink balloons with his bow - because he is a bloody incredible musician. Like it or lump it.

No sartorial questions over the divine Joyce DiDonato, who wore a blood-red Vivienne Westwood gown in the first half, and glittering peach in the second (left: curtain call), and delivered singing of such glory that it was a privilege to hear her, let alone sing along in 'You'll Never Walk Alone'. She dedicated Somewhere Over the Rainbow to the LGBT community "whose voices are being silenced" - handling this by explaining on social media beforehand rather than announcing from the platform, which I suspect will be the way of the future (nuff said...).

The whole evening was in fact a great celebration of inclusivity. Music was included from Handel to Anna Clyne. A woman (indeed, a gay woman) conducted the event for the first time ever, and judged the content of her speech to perfection. Bernstein's  Chichester Psalms are sung in Hebrew - and how beautiful they are, and how marvellous Iestyn Davies was as soloist. Nigel did his Gypsy improvisation alongside rare Brit composers Granville Bantock and George Lloyd (read about the astonishing story of that piece here). (Missed the sea shanties, though.) Verdi was there - the chorus of the Hebrew Slaves; and Wagner too - the overture to Die Meistersinger, the only one of his major operas that doesn't seem to have been bustin' out all over this year; and Britten, in The Building of the House and his arrangement of the national anthem to close.

What, then, of all those patriotic songs? Well, if you try to sing 'Land of Hope and Glory' but, for any reason, even if you are waving a flag (my nice Scottish neighbour, hedging her bets, had brought both, so she lent me the Union Jack), you just can't do the words properly given the reality outside the hall, it won't be noticed amid a crowd of 5000+ if you change them a teeny bit, in good and appropriate spirit, so... All together now:

"I LOVE EDWARD ELGAR,
HE'S THE MAN FOR ME!
HE'S OUR GREATEST COMPOSER
AS TONIGHT WE SEE..."

The important thing, though, is not the words. It's the singing. I believe I have tracked the magic of the Last Night, and it is not what we sing, but the fact that we do sing, and we all sing together, and we are the audience but we are joining in the concert ourselves, with the world's top musicians. And that's the ultimate in sharing music. And that, dear friends, is what the thrill of the Last Night is all about.

Over and out.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Fanfare for the uncommon woman conductor

Following that rather daft public row about Vassily Petrenko's alleged remarks re women conductors, I thought we'd do something constructive. I spent some of yesterday afternoon tweeting the names and websites of as many women conductors as I could think of. You all wrote in with suggestions and we ended up with a very fine list indeed. Special thanks to my doughty colleague Toby Deller, who also had the good sense to introduce a hashtag. [NB I am still updating the list below - plenty more of them! So please keep tweeting the missing links and keep checking back for our additions...]




A few of the conclusions to draw here are as follows.

1. There are more women conductors than you think. People believe our dear Marin Alsop is the only one. She ain't.

2. They don't often get the important dates that will be reviewed. Some people want to blame us journalists for their lack of recognition, but with concert review space tighter than it has ever been in history, it is usually the "big gigs" that get the attention, and the women conductors - with the exception of Marin and the Last Night of the Proms - are not being given the big gigs.

3. The women conductors I know are heartily sick of being asked why there aren't more women conductors - mostly because there are.They would like, please, recognition first and foremost and, ideally, only for their work as musicians, regardless of gender...

4. [Update, 5 Sept, 13:49] I think that's what's emerging here, as the list steams on with well over 50 names and rising, is that there are plenty of women who are conductors, but one heck of a glass ceiling regarding where they work. [Update, 7 October, 18:49 - the list is now NEARLY 100 strong! Thank you to everybody who has written in to contribute!]

In no particular order, here's the march of the women.

Zoi Tsokanou.
Was in Gustav Mahler Bamberg competition this year & Haitink masterclasses in Lucerne.

Monica Buckland Hofstetter
British-Swiss, formerly in charge of conducting chorus & orchestra at the University of Dresden, now based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Jessica Cottis
Young Australian-British conductor whose name came up more often in suggestions on Twitter yesterday than anyone else's.

Anu Tali
Estonian suprema, music director of Sarasota Orchestra & Nordic Symphony Orchestra.

Julia Jones: http://www.rayfieldallied.com/artists/julia-jones/
Admired Brit, extremely well recognised in Germany, did Cosi at Covent Garden not so long ago.

Xian Zhang.
I have loved the performances of hers that I've heard at ENO.

Simone Young
Extremely well-established, has been chief conductor at the Hamburg Opera (just leaving now).

Eve Queler
New York-based operatic expert.

JoAnn Falletta
Music director of the Ulster Orchestra.

Suzi Digby http://www.suzidigby.com/
That ultimate mover and shaker of choirs and galvaniser of community and youth music.

Nia Llewellyn Jones @niallewellynj
Young conductor fresh out of Cambridge, being nurtured by CBSO.

Jane Glover:
Arch-Mozartian and author.

Sian Edwards
She is head of conducting at the Royal Academy of Music.

Susanna Mälkki  
Much-admired principal conductor of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Portugal. 

Alondra de la Parra  
Among much else, an official cultural ambassador for Mexican tourism.

Emmanuelle Haim  
Extraordinary Baroque specialist from France.

Kelly Lovelady
From Australia, with an unforgettable name.

Odaline de la Martinez
Founder of Lontano.

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla http://www.cami.com/?webid=2551
Music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Kristiina Poska
Prizewinning Estonian who's been rising fast, not least via the Komische Oper, Berlin

Ewa Strusinska  
Spent some time with the Halle and now works internationally from Poland 

Jeanne Lamon  
Baroque marvel, head of Tafelmusik

Sarah Ioannides  
Born in Australia, grew up in the UK, now based in the US.

Tania Miller http://www.hughkaylor.com/Miller-Tania-Bio.html
 Music director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, Canada

Claire Gibault
Both conductor and MEP!

Barbara Hannigan http://www.barbarahannigan.com/
This extraordinary soprano, star of Benjamin's Written on Skin, is also a conductor.

Gemma New http://www.gemmanew.com/
Assistant conductor at New Jersey SO

Rebecca Miller http://www.rebeccamiller.net/
London-based US conductor

Alice Farnham http://www.alicefarnham.com/
Music director of Welsh National Youth Opera for Paul Bunyan this year

Akiko Ohtomo http://hokusaiorchestra.com/test/prof.html
Director of the Hokusai Orchestra (formed in 2010)

Anne Manson http://www.annemanson.com/
Among much else, she was the first woman to conduct at the Salzburg Festival

Yip Wing-Sie http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yip_Wing-sie
Music director of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta

Sybille Werner http://www.ljova.com/sybille.htm
Mahler authority

Alicja Mounk http://www.dirigentinnen.de/1mounk.htm
A long and distinguished career

Holly Mathieson http://www.hollymathieson.com/
Young New Zealander, based in Berlin

Monique Krus http://401nederlandseoperas.nl/en/componisten/208-monique-krues.html
Dutch conductor, composer and soprano (site above doesn't mention the conducting, but she is recommended by a friend who saw her conduct last week)

Laurence Equilbey http://www.laurenceequilbey.com/
Fine French maestra, especially noted for opera. Another one for the appropriate-names department.

Jennifer Condon http://www.owlsnestopera.com.au/?page_id=6
Music director of the wonderfully-titled Owl's Nest Opera in Austalia

Karen Kamensek http://www.lewin-management.com/artists/18_Karen+Kamensek/englishbio
Music director of Staatstheater Hannover

Carolyn Watson http://www.carolyn-watson.com/biog.html
Orchestra director, Interlochen Arts Academy

Han-Na Chang http://www.harrisonparrott.com/artist/profile/han-na-chang
She's the most fabulous cellist and now she's become a conductor!

Mei-Anne Chen http://meiannchen.com/
Music director of Chicago Sinfonietta and Memphis Symphony

Joana Carneiro http://imgartists.com/artist/joana_carneiro
Music director, Berkeley Symphony

Amy Bebbington http://www.amybebbington.co.uk/4.html
Choral specialist

Laura Jackson http://www.laurajackson.net/web/home.aspx
Music director, Reno Philharmonic

Catherine Winnes Trevino http://www.kmh.se/cathrine-winnes-trevino-ny-chefdirigent-f%C3%B6r-%C3%B6stg%C3%B6ta-bl%C3%A5sarsymfoniker1
Norwegian maestra - sites in Norwegian

Halldis Rønning http://www.harmonien.no/default.aspx?pageId=33
Assistant conductor, Bergen Philharmonic

Carolyn Kuan http://www.hartfordsymphony.org/about/music-director/
Music director, Hartford Symphony

Matilda Hofman http://www.esm.rochester.edu/iml/spotlight/spotlight_may_2008_hoffman.php
Music director, Diablo Symphony, California

Nicolette Fraillon http://www.australianballet.com.au/about_us/artistic_staff/nicolette_fraillon
Music director & chief conductor of Australian Ballet

Sarah Grace Williams http://www.sarahgracewilliams.com/
Chief conductor & artistic director, The Metropolitan Orchestra, Sydney

Speranza Scappucci http://www.icartists.co.uk/artists/speranza-scappucci
Is opening the forthcoming Scottish Opera season with Don Giovanni

Susan Hollingworth http://www.sinenom.com/bio.html
Conductor of Sine Nomine Choir and much more

Sarah Baldock http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Baldock
Master of the choristers & organist at Chichester Cathedral. One of the first women ever to be appointed at one.

Katherine Dienes-Williams http://www.katherinedienes.com/KD/Welcome.html
Master of the choristers & organist at Guildford Cathedral (see above)

Sarah Macdonald http://www.sel.cam.ac.uk/chapel/People/
Director of Music in Chapel, Selwyn College, Cambridge.

Kim Diehnelt http://www.kimdiehnelt.com/
Music director & chief conductor, Northwest Symphony Orchestra, US

Jeri Lynne Johnson http://www.jerilynnejohnson.com/web/home.aspx
Founder & conductor, Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, US

Isabelle Ruf-Weber http://www.dirigentinnen.de/1rufwe.htm
German conductor based in Baden-Wurttemberg

Sinead Hayes http://www.sineadhayes.com/
Young Irish conductor who opened the RTE Concert Orchestra's summer lunchtime concert series.

Roberta Peroni http://www.linkedin.com/pub/roberta-peroni/28/44b/58a 
Conductor & chorus manager in Bari, Italy.

Talia Ilan http://www.taliailan.com/bio.aspx
Music director of the Israel Stage Orchestra & guest conductor with many Israeli orchestras.

Ewa Michnik http://www.opera.wroclaw.pl/1/index.php?lang=_pl&page=4&perf_id=1
Director, Opera Wroclaw, Poland.

Eun Sun Kim http://www.lewin-management.com/artists/19_Eun+Sun+Kim/englishbio
Is conducting Die Fledermaus at ENO this season.

Maja Matelska http://majametelska.com/en/
Polish conductor, has scooped quite a few competition prizes.

Marzena Diakun http://diakun.com/en/biography/
Polish, winner of 2nd prize in last year's Fitelberg Competition, and highly recommended by one of my colleagues who's in the know.

Gisele Ben-Dor http://www.giseleben-dor.com/
Israeli conductor laureate of Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra

Victoria Bond http://victoriabond.com/
American composer and conductor. Her website says she has been staying in the guest flat at Brahms's house near Baden-Baden (this has long been my own aspiration!) and writing an opera about Clara Schumann.

Rei Hotada http://reihotoda.com
Has been assistant conductor at the Dallas Symphony and has been making important debuts around the US & Canada this season.

Sarah Hicks http://sarahhicksconductor.com/web/bio.aspx
Staff conductor at the Curtis Institute, Philadelphia, among much else.

Anna Skryleva http://www.annaskryleva.com/annaskryleva/Home.html
Russian, has been working in some fine German opera houses including Karlsruhe & Hamburg

Tara Simoncic http://www.greenwichsymphony.org/tara-simoncic-associate-conductor
Young American conductor, has been featured in the Guardian

Amelia LeClair http://www.brandeis.edu/wsrc/scholars/profiles/leclair.html
Scholar and early music choral conductor, based at Brandeis University

Nicole Paiement http://music.ucsc.edu/faculty/nicole-paiement
Director of Ensembles, University of California Santa Cruz.

Rosemary Thomson http://okanagansymphony.com/about/music-director/2997/
Music director, Okanagan Symphony.

Dalia Atlas http://www.dalia-atlas.com/Biography.html
From Haifa. Has recorded a lot of Bloch.

Graziella Contratto http://www.graziellacontratto.com/
Swiss conductor with a fine track record.

Jessica Gethin http://perthsymphony.com/2012/09/20/perth-symphony-orchestra/
Principal conductor of the Perth Symphony Orchestra, Australia

Carolin Nordmeyer http://www.theater-augsburg.de/content.php?backlink=L2NvbnRlbnQucGhwP25hdj0zNCZzdWI9MzYmL011c2lrdGhlYXRlci9FbnNlbWJsZS5odG1s&sel=1&mitID=240
Theater Augsburg, Germany

Alissa Firsova http://alissafirsova.com/
Multi-talented composer, conductor and pianist. Daughter of the composers Dimitri Smirnov and Elena Firsova.

Nathalie Stutzmann http://www.nathaliestutzmann.com/
The noted French mezzo-soprano is conducting as well. 

Andrea Quinn http://www.andreaquinn.com/
British conductor, now based in the US. Was chief conductor at New York City Ballet, then at Norrlands Operan, Sweden.

Anne Marie Granau http://www.linkedin.com/in/annemariegranau
Chorus master at Royal Danish Opera, Copenhagen

Silvia Sanz Torre http://www.silviasanz.com/silviasanz/index.php
Spanish conductor - intrigued to see she has conducted rare Albeniz opera The Magic Opal.

Kate Tamarkin http://www.ktamarkin.com/ktprofile.htm
Music director, Charlottesville and Univesity Symphony Orchestra, Charlottesville, US

Natalia Luis-Bassa http://www.natalialuisbassa.blogspot.co.uk/
Venezuelan conductor in the UK. Hit headlines a few years ago by walking out on the Huddersfield Philharmonic due to interpersonal problems with players being "disrespectful". Was a mentor in BBC's Maestro series. Teaches at RCM.

Sarah Tenant-Flowers http://www.tenantflowers.co.uk/
Choral conductor, UK, teacher, animateur - and also a mentor on Maestro.

Elizabeth Schulze http://www.flagstaffsymphony.org/about_conductor.php
Music director, Flagstaff and Maryland Symphony Orchestras, US

Sandra Horst http://www.music.utoronto.ca/faculty/faculty_members/faculty_a_to_m/Sandra_Horst.htm
Chorus master of Canadian Opera

Grete Pedersen http://solistkoret.no/en/artistic-leader/
Artistic leader, Norwegian Soloists Choir

Mary Chun http://www.earplay.org/index.php/music-makers/mary-chun-conductor-bio/
In demand in contemporary music and opera, US. Premiered Adams's I was looking at the ceiling...

Sara Jobin http://www.hughkaylor.com/jobin-sara-bio.html
Artistic director, Centre for Contemporary Opera, New York.

Renee Baker http://www.chicagomodernorchestraproject.org/artistic-director/
Music director, Chicaco Modern Orchestra Project

Beatrice Jona Affron http://www.paballet.org/pennsylvania-ballet-orchestra
Music director and conductor, Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra

Natalia Salinas http://www.linkedin.com/in/salinasnatalia/en
Conductor based in her native Argentina

Ann Krinitsky http://annkrinitsky.com/Bio.html
Director, Marin Symphony Youth Performance Programmes, etc - based in the Bay Area.

Karina Canellakis http://www.karinacanellakis.com/Site/Karina_Canellakis_conductor_violinist_BIOGRAPHY.html
Winner, 2013 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship (founded by Marin Alsop)

Sebrina Maria Alfonso http://southfloridasymphony.org/about-the-conductor/
Music director, South Florida Symphony

Diane Wittry http://www.dianewittry.com/index.html
Music director, Allentown Symphony  

Denise Ham http://www.denisehamconducting.com/
Sought-after teacher of conducting in the UK

Sharon Choa http://sharonchoa.co.uk/
Artistic director & principal conductor, Chamber Orchestra Anglia, which she founded in 2001

Rachael Young http://rachaelyoung.eu/
Has been assistant conductor to Paavo Jarvi & Leonid Grin, will Russian Virtuosi of Europe at Cadogan Hall in June 14.

Kayoko Dan http://chattanoogasymphony.org/artists/kayoko-dan/
Music director, Chattanooga Symphony & Opera 

Apo Hsu http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apo_Hsu
Assistant conductor of Oregon Symphony under James de Priest

Joana Mallwitz http://www.artistainternational.com/en/conductor/joanamallwitz/index.php
Is conducting Das Rheingold in Macau in October 2013 and has been doing more Wagner in Riga.

Yuri Nitta http://www.yuri-muusikko.com/e-profile.htm
Tokyo-born Nordic music specialist

Keiko Mitsuhashi http://www.concert.co.jp/en/artist/keiko_mitsuhashi/
2nd prize & audience prize in 2010 International Conducting Competition 'Arturo Toscanini'; 1st prize in 2008 Antonio Pedrotti Conducting Competition. 

Kanako Abe http://www.kanakoabe.com/about.html
Born in Osaka, now based in Paris. Co-founder & music director of Ensemble Multilatérale

Yoko Matsuo *Link needed, please send if you have one!*
Pioneer of women conductors in Japan and first woman to win the Besançon competition in 1982. 

Lindsay Ryan http://www.harmonysinfonia.co.uk/conductor.php
London-based conductor, founder in 2009 of Harmony Sinfonia  

Heather MacLaughlin Garbes http://www.heathermaclaughlin.com/
Lives in Seattle, works with Baltic Studies Department/Baltic Choral Library at the University of Washington
 
Zheng Xiaoying http://www.mariinsky.ru/en/company/conductors/zheng_ziaoying/
Principal conductor of the Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra and artistic director of her own Opera Centre.

Shi-Yeon Sung http://shiyeonsung.com/biography/
Winner of 2006 Sir Georg Solti International Conductors Competition.

Keri-Lynn Wilson http://imgartists.com/artist/keri_lynn_wilson
Canadian-born conductor, currently music director of Slovenian Philharmonic. Triumphant London debut at ENO for The Girl of the Golden West.

Susanne Riddell http://www.wessexyo.com/home/cwym-staff
Cellist, teacher and conductor of the Wessex Youth Orchestra, Poole, with further plans in the offing.

Janet Wheeler http://www.janetwheeler.co.uk
Choral conductor and composer


SO, ARE YOU STILL GOING TO ASK WHY THERE ARE NO WOMEN CONDUCTORS?
Didn't think so. Ask instead why we do not hear them more often. 

(Oh, and please, please, please stop throwing mud at Petrenko. Enough, already. Let's get some sense of proportion into this - many worse things are going on around us than that, and the chances are that he was joking/misquoted/manipulated for sensationalisation purposes, probably all three.)





Friday, March 08, 2013

Seven - no, EIGHT - things to do on International Women's Day

1. Go to the eclectic Women of the World Festival at the Southbank. Among musically-oriented treats today are Jessye Norman (yes), speaking at 4.30pm this afternoon; and tonight, the OAE with Marin Alsop and soprano Emma Bell in a delicious programme of Mozart, Beethoven, Weber and Schumann, part of the Queens, Heroines and Ladykillers series.

2. Go to the UK premiere of Written on Skin by composer George Benjamin and librettist Martin Crimp, at the Royal Opera House. It is a contemporary masterpiece and, although it's by two men, the story is very much about the sexual emancipation of a woman in the 13th century. I talked to its director, Katie Mitchell, about that, and the article should hopefully be out tomorrow. (Not going to see it until 18th, but I've heard the recording from Aix and found it absolutely amazing. My chat with George about the music for the ROH website is here.)

3. Spend a little time celebrating the music of women composers over the centuries whose work was discouraged, disguised or suppressed, unless it happened to be cute salon music for the home. And remember the ones who went right on ahead and did their own thing. 



4. Spend a little time remembering the great female performers of the past who knuckled down to work instead of knuckling under.



5. Listen to some music by the increasing raft of gifted, dedicated and proud women composers of today, whether on stage, screen, concert hall or multimedia. A reasonably random example, but one I've much enjoyed, is this mingling of space mission, dance, special effects and music by Errollyn Wallen in Falling.



6. Remember that today's greatest women performers simply cannot be bettered.



7. Reflect that it should not be necessary, in an ideal world, to add extra celebration to the achievements of women - in the classical music world as much as anywhere, and more than some - but with sexism so desperately ingrained in our culture, it is.

8. Remember that International Women's Day is all very well, but next we have to sort out the other 364 days of the year.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Candide for Sunday afternoon

Something to help cheer up anyone who is left on their own for reasons beyond their control on a cold winter afternoon just before Christmas: Bernstein's Candide, live on Broadway, from 2005. Complete, right here. Marin Alsop conducts, Thomas Allen is Dr Pangloss, Paul Groves is Candide, Kristen Chenoweth is Cunegonde, Patti LuPone is the Old Lady. Actually it'll probably cheer you up even if you haven't been left on your own for reasons beyond your control. Enjoy. Let's make our garden grow.