Happy news: Maestro gives birth

Happy news: Maestro gives birth


norman lebrecht

February 06, 2017

The Barbican Centre has rather drily reported a change of cast:

We are sorry to announce that Joana Carneiro is no longer able to conduct this concert. Happily, this is due to her having recently given birth, and we send her and her family all our best wishes.

We are delighted that Benjamin Shwartz is able to step in to conduct at such short notice.

Ms Carneiro, who is Portuguese, is music director of the Berkeley Symphony Orchestra, California, and principal conductor of Orquesta Sinfonica Portuguesa and Teatro Sao Carlos in Lisbon.

We send good wishes to mother and child.


  • Bruce says:

    Congratulations to the happy family!

    (And before anyone starts in with this-is-why-we-shouldn’t-hire-women-conductors, let me add that my orchestra has had two male music directors cancel out of concerts because their wives were giving birth.)

  • Jaybuyer says:

    Trying again. She’s a Maestra. Of course, a grammatically correct headline wouldn’t have had the same effect.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      There is no such thing as a Maestra. It’s a corruption of language.

      • Jaybuyer says:

        Thanks for that, Norman. Maestra is the feminine of Maestro (see any Italian/English dictionary). So where is the corruption? If we are going to be so stuck up to use foreign words when English (conductor, Music Director) would be quite sufficient, why not use the correct gender? Barenboim is said to have exclaimed, on leaving a dinner party, “And thank you all for not calling me ‘maestro’ ”
        I believe there is an opera called ‘i maestri cantori’ by Wagner and one by Mozart “Così fan tutte” (i.e all women) and not ‘tutti’ (men and women) as some people believe. There is no need to be ashamed of correct grammar.