Muti conducts orchestra in headscarves

First pictures from Riccardo Muti’s peace-seeking concert in Tehran show him conducting an orchestra in which all of the women are wearing obligatory headscarves.

The Chicago Symphony site has a summary of Iranian and Italian press reports, here.

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  • at least these pictures have been taken in Tehran, not in Italy . the second – they allow women to play in the orchestra, so the things are not so scary as let’s say somewhere in ( the closest British friend) Saudi Arabia. and the last – Muti is the Muti, couldn’t not imagine him disregarding soprano in the process of “emanating sounds” ūüėČ

      • Of course I know the difference between a head scarf and a hijab I was just wondering why this item was on the site. It’s non news.

        • The point is, of course, that the queen is free to choose about her head gear. It is one of the few things monarchy offers freedom with. Women in some muslem countries are not allowed to seduce men in public spaces by carelessly letting fly their hair as if this would not be a dangerous aphrodiasicum for hysterically-charged males on the look-out for prey. The oldfashioned muslem custom of covering female hairdo’s or covering them entirely from top to bottom, is mostly the result of a male problem. Covering themselves offers freedom of movement to females, although it leads to structural disappointment with males. The headscarf as symbol of suppression of women could as easily be interpreted as a symbol of supression of males. In the free west, headscarfs of muslem women is often a symbol of defiance where anti-muslem sentiments hang in the air.

          But in this case the conductor won’t be distracted by female hair while conducting, and the brass tuttis won’t upset the hairdo’s.

          • These are always nice occasions for some Islam bashing. And yes while traveling frequently in these countries, most people I know would rather do without the obligation, or wouldn’t care if women would choose freely or not (I gave a list of orchestras elsewhere in the region in countries that do not have any obligation, and in the orchestras of Cairo and Baghdad some women now wear the headscarf, defying everybody who thinks a certain level of artistry or intellectuality excludes wearing the scarf).
            However may I point out that some sections of Jewish and Christian religion also oblige women to cover their heads? It is an old clich√© to reply this way, but the clich√© is still valid. However until now we don’t see many obliging Orthodox Christian and Jewish women members in symphonic orchestras or similar positions anywhere.

    • Actually in a way that was the practice in the West too, before the first stripnaked production.

  • So how was the project? Why are what the women have ti wear the main story? And if what the women wear is so important: yes, I know there are many differences, but can women in the Berliner wear pants instead of a skirt, and a headscarf? And while the Teheran orchestra has women, since when does Vienna have women? And if we need to make it as some want to make it, compare Teheran to the region: what about the US’ friend Saudi Arabia, Israel’s new political ally as well. Anyway tanks for posting. I would otherwise not have kniwn about thus.

      • That the non-Muslim women in the orchestra felt compelled, or pressured, or whatever it was, to don head scarves. It’s not a good thing to lower yourself to another religion’s or country’s habits of repression.

  • This is just too much. One day women will have the right to choose and be comfortable, and will have the same rights as men in these countries.

    • In ‘these countries’? Yes, women’s rights are lagging behind in many countries, including many in the Middle-East, but not only in the Middle-East; ok the bosses of Airbnb and Fox News have been sent away, but violation of women’s rights is an international problem anyway.
      And it can not be measured by what women (are obliged to) wear on their head.
      For your interest: about 40% of the Teheran Symphony Orchestra are women, and men and women participate on an equal basis. No female conductor until now, but hey, how is it with female conductors anywhere in the world?

  • As the usual nattering nabobs of Slipped Disk rattle on — completely beside the point — about head scarves, let me applaud Maestro Muti for doing this. It must have been a thrill for everyone in this orchestra.

    • Agree. Perhaps a politicised version of the news sells better, and it plays into the general current Islamophobe feelings that are fashionable among the semi-intellectual crowds. Moreover why don’t we do some Iran-bashing on the way. It serves our pro-Israel views as well.
      That is the message of the context given to news, which otherwise could have just been a factual report about a nice and uplifting event.
      Meanwhile not only the orchestra must have been delighted by Muti, also probably Muti has had a rewarding experience too.

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