A lesbian music director in 1950s Americamain
The chance discovery of an old concert flyer has prompted Leonard Slatkin to look into the forgotten life of Frieda Belinfante, founder of the Orange County Philharmonic in a conservative part of California at a time when women – let alone lesbians – were never put in charge of an orchestra.
Frieda, who died in 1995, aged 90, grew up in Holland and formed a chamber orchestra at the Concertgebouw. Hermann Scherchen called her out as top in his masterclass. During the war, she went underground. Eventually, she made it to America.
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