Equality crawl: First woman to head Vienna music faculty in 198 years

Equality crawl: First woman to head Vienna music faculty in 198 years


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2015

The announcement that Regula Rapp will take over in October as Rector of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien (est. 1817) has provoked a round of Viennese self-congratulation. See, we’re just as equal now as anywhere else….

Regula Rapp, 53, was an outside candidate, a German who has been head of the Hochschule für Alte Musik in Basle and latterly of the Stuttgart Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst.

Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst Stuttgart


  • william osborne says:

    This is very positive news. Based on what I have seen, it makes a notable difference when women are put in top administrative positions in German-speaking, tertiary-level music schools. The symbolic effect changes the way the students and faculty think and behave. This often results in changes of policy and administration.

    This is especially important at Vienna’s University of Music where the professors for orchestral instruments are recruited almost exclusively from the VPO. Needless to say, there has never been a woman professor from that orchestra.

    • Hilary says:

      I occasionally wonder if the London based British Music Information Centre would have survived, had a woman been at the helm.
      Certainly the women who worked there made a notable difference, but were never (sadly) in charge.

  • harold braun says:

    Regula Who?

  • Alex says:

    What a great name. Like someone from a Harry Potter book.

  • Janis says:

    The university must be relieved — now they can go for another 198 years before they’re forced to hire another one. Nincompoops.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    Austria’s not doing so badly. What about Dr. Helga Rabl-Stadler in Salzburg and Renate Doppler in Wels? Not to mention Brigitte Fassbaender in Innsbruck and the new GMD at the Salzburg Landestheater, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla.

    We can’t treat all these appointments as tokenism. The country’s just not that big.

  • william osborne says:

    In 2011, Tracy Emin was appointed Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy. With Fiona Rae, she is one of the first two female professors since the Academy was founded in 1768.