By Jessica Duchen, The Independent
When Marin Alsop stepped on to the podium to conduct the Last Night of
the Proms in 2013, surrounded by pink balloons, the heady applause that
greeted her masked the gentle cracking of a glass ceiling. She was the
first woman ever to wield the baton over the highest-profile event in
the UK's musical calendar. Last summer she did it again.
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
“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.
Read the full article here.