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Female Conductors Crack the Glass Podium


by Jerome Weeks 11 May 2009

From the LATimes: The nation’s most established female music directors are proving successful at their jobs. Over the course of JoAnn Falletta’s 11-year directorship of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the orchestra’s budget has grown from about $7.5 million to $10 million. The orchestra has won two Grammy Awards, made 14 recordings and boasts record subscription levels. […]

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hotoda-right

Rei Hotoda of the DSO

From the LATimes:

The nation’s most established female music directors are proving successful at their jobs. Over the course of JoAnn Falletta’s 11-year directorship of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the orchestra’s budget has grown from about $7.5 million to $10 million. The orchestra has won two Grammy Awards, made 14 recordings and boasts record subscription levels. Meanwhile, in 2008, the Baltimore Symphony announced its first balanced budget in five years, which observers attribute in part to enthusiasm surrounding the appointment of music director Marin Alsop in 2007.

It couldn’t have been more different only a few decades ago. “It is safe to say that until the past 15 or so years, there simply was no woman with an important international conducting career,” wrote Henry Fogel, the League of American Orchestras’ former president, on his blog in 2007. Despite inroads by such early pioneers as Antonia Brico (1902-89), Sarah Caldwell (1924-2006) and Judith Somogi (1941-88), women rarely appeared on the podiums of major orchestras in the first half of the 20th century.

But the LAT article about about new female conductors — Xian Zhang at the Verdi Orchestra in Milan, Joana Carneiro at the Berkeley Symphony and so on — does not mention the DSO’s own Rei Hotoda, signed as the company’s assistant conductor last October. She officially starts in September but will make her DSO debut June 6 in a Casual Classics concert, featuring pianist Joyce Yang, the 2005 Van Cliburn silver medalist.

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