Until reading This story about the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, I had no idea that there had never been a woman conductor resident with any of the ‘major’ orchestras.
And now Baltimore are faffing over whether to employ Marin Alsop – currently chief conductor at the Bournemouth Symphony (one of the best orchestras in the UK). And it’s the musicians that are stifling the process…
Now, it’s altogether possible that Marin just isn’t up to the job – as with any discrimination situation, you have to weigh up whether the gender/race/sexuality/disability of the applicant is the problem, or if they just aren’t up to much – but Marin has an impeccable track record, has guest conducted most of the major orchestras in the US, has recorded a lot of stuff, and given that the orchestra is $10 million in debt, they could surely do with something a little different to start bringing the punters in.
Instead of looking like a bunch of reactionary old duffers, on par with the dissenters in the General Synod, complaining about the C of E’s recent fab decision to finally allow women bishops, they could have welcomed Marin with open arms, announced it as a new dawn for orchestras, and sought some much needed positive publicity from it.
It’s almost inconceiveable that women are still facing this crap across most areas of life – work, faith, music… it’s such bollocks, and hopefully will be looked back on in 10/20/30 years as an anachronism on a par with segregation.by