Germany’s youngest female music director gets renewed

Joana Mallwitz was 27 when she signed on as GD in Erfurt in 2014.

Today, she got a new contract, taking her to 2018, into her 30s.

joana mallwitz

She’s getting out quite a bit, too, conducting Macbeth last month at Zurich Opera.

See Woman conductors: The power list

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  • Why give such big contracts to people with little or no experience? Talented young conductors should really be in positions like Erster or Zweiter Kapellmeister where they can get on with the business of gaining podium experience and building repertoire without having to worry about filling in holiday forms or any of the other paperwork that goes with the job of GMD. Still, it’s always good publicity for a theatre to say they’ve got a young, photogenic top dog, even if that person may well have benefited from a lesser position in a big house for a few years. However good he is, I think Cornelius Meister would also have benefitted from a few more years like that instead of going to Heidelberg as GMD at 25.

    • I won’t argue that your suggestion might lead to a better development for some conductors. But it is not very realistic, given the dirth of promising conducting talents. Because from the perspective of houses not having top budgets it would be plain senseless. In most cases they have to choose between talent and professional experience, because they normally can’t afford both together. The wise ones choose talent.

    • I agree fully, but you are promoting a model that was valid still 50 years ago when music was the profession, and in the center of attention.
      Today it is not about music primarily, and the function of the conductors changed accordingly. Today the key figures need to have public “pulling” power. If they know their trade and their scores from years of sweaty and sleepless experience is not as important anymore. The times they are changing. The art form is slowly being eaten by the greedy over those who love the music.

    • well, GMD in a small theater like Erfurt or Heidelberg these days still qualifies for “in the trenches at the frontline”.
      It’s the big houses in the major cities that allow you to be the fat cat.

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