Maestra move: Young Pole lands major management

Maestra move: Young Pole lands major management


norman lebrecht

January 15, 2019

Marta Gardolińska, 30, has been signed by Askonas Holt.

Marta is presently Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and doing very well by all accounts.

Marta says: ‘It is indeed like a dream come true. I am incredibly thankful to everyone that has supported me in my journey so far. Especially my dear family, friends, teachers and the lovely musical family here @bsorchestra.’



One day, let’s dream, AskonasHolt and HarrisonParrott will sign young conductors of ethnic diversity with the same diligence and social conscience as they are presently signing young women.



  • Rogerio says:

    Doesn’t Polish count as ethnic diversity?

  • Emil says:

    “Marta”…another day, another woman who is not dignified with the use of her last name on this blog.

    • Rogerio says:

      Hey Emil (last name omitted)!
      I can’t help feeling that YOU dial women’s dignity down a few notches (every time you state that their dignity can be diminished by referring to them by their first name) … – … so that YOU can then defend their dignity.
      I would like to know how many women readers of slipped disk appreciate it.

      • Emil says:

        Hi Rogerio, please have a look at the links I posted under the article on Gemma New, and you’ll see that I’m not making this up.

    • Harrumph says:

      In this case “Martita” or “Li’l Marta” would be even more appropriate. Dignity is earned and she’s a joke.

  • M McAlpine says:

    I would hope that AskonasHolt and HarrisonParrott will sign young conductors according to their ability no matter what their sex or ethnic diversity. And if Marta Gardolińska was a man wouldn’t you call her ‘Gardolińska’ instead of ‘Marta’?

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    Another woman being signed by a major agency and promoted just for the very thin reason of being a woman. I played in her Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien graduation concert at the Musikverein and her lack of conducting technique and poor musicianship were obvious to many of us. I saw her conduct last year the TU Orchester and it became obvious that she did not have the makes of an Orchester music leader…
    After watching her work I wonder if she had gotten the opportunities she got to be assistant conductor in the US and the UK if she had been a man.
    Are there any agents around with real music criteria who really can recognize real music talent? I begin to wonder – based largely on the conductors agencies are sending to my orchestra (yes, they DECIDE who guest conduct, believe or not) – if this generation of music agents know anything about music or are just experts on marketing and advertising to the service of money-making. Some of the conductors they are imposing us (both men and women) are just embarrasing (including our current and new incoming MDs). I am sorry, but I have to include MG in this category.

    • RW2013 says:

      You mean it’s not enough just to have a website with stylish photos, videos and a twitter account?

      • Troy van Leeuwen says:

        Well, the musicians from the Bournemouth Symphony disagree with FrauGeigerin wholeheartedly, given that her position there was renewed for the 19-20 season, and this position is chosen solely by the musicians after an extensive audition process, where none of the management of the orchestra is present.

      • Tegoteo Blanco says:

        No, besides all that, young conductors also have to do competitions, master classes and auditions in order to get a chance of spending a little bit of time on a podium

  • AlexTre says:

    This has to be a joke…

  • Nostradamus says:

    Perhaps once upon a time these agencies were a form of gatekeeper which supported the music profession by providing for development of great talents and a barrier to lesser ones but, if ever they were, then things have certainly changed. In these times they merely exists as parasites to make money from what is pure business and nothing to do with art, unless the continuation of the illusion that overpaid stars are worth the money whilst the profession itself rots away through an endless parade of boring concerts counts as such.

    Their signings are an indication only of perceived marketability. Yes, once upon a time there was substantial prejudice against female conductors. Now there is mammoth prejudice in favour of young female conductors – provided they are blessed with a certain kind of look and take care with their weight. It is no longer the music profession: welcome to the fashion industry. First it was young men of a certain type, now young women.

    What will be next? Promoting the careers of mature artists with real capability, depth of knowledge and experience? Don’t hold your breath.

    • Derek says:

      I suspect that you are right in much of what you say.

      However, there will be many exceptions, of course, and we want them to avoid missing the gifted ones.

      It is as if the agencies are all greedily pan handling in the “stream of possible talent” and are not able to tell the difference between “fools gold” and the real thing!