The next batch of women conductors is ready to rise

Dallas Opera’s Hart Insitute, which has yielded some stunning talent since 2015, is ready with its next set of interns.

They are:
– Tiffany Chang (USA)
 Jiannan Cheng (China)
 Tamara Dworetz (USA)
 Marta Kluczyńska (Poland, pictured)
 Madeline Tsai (Taiwan)
 Molly Turner (USA)

The six finalists were selected from a list of 90.


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  • First of all, congratulations to the six selected conductors.

    But: Is such an Institue also existing for men with “stunning talent”? We all – including you, Norman Lebrecht – have to take care that there’s no discrimination happening towards men in conducting.

    Also, when did you last time mention last-minute-replacements by young male conductors? But we are reading about female conductors jumping in at quite meaningless Southern UK Orchestras. Discrimination should not happen towards any humans because of sex, race, etc. – and you, Mr Lebrecht, have to take care as well.

    • I mean, of the top ~30 North American orchestras, only one has a current music director who happens to be a woman, but no, I definitely haven’t heard nearly enough about male conductors, and we really have to watch that we don’t discriminate against those poor men.

    • Yeah, where are the men? Apart from Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, London, London, London, London, Paris, Paris, Paris, Berlin, Berlin, Berlin, Berlin, Munich, Munich, etc.
      I mean, we’ve established now that being a sexual predator (Dutoit, Gatti) is not enough to get a man out of the profession. So I think men are fine.

  • I have played under several female conductors – believe me, they are no different from male conductors.

    • Yes. Some are good and some are bad. There are many at the beginning of their career who need time to develop, and who make mistakes while they are developing. Some of those who show potential never really develop to be really good conductors. Yes, there is no real difference between male and female conductors.

  • I’m still waiting for a celebrated institute for conductors of African descent to arise and I anticipate its breathless reception. It’s a good thing that I can hold my breath for inordinately long periods.

    Good conducting should be the only arbiter.

    • Last night (the 29th) my wife and I just happened to play your Naxos CD of three works by John Alden Carpenter. Beautifully done! I have Howard Hanson’s recording of the Adventures but of course the Symphonies were new to us. Your CD should be in everyone’s collection. Thanks so much.

    • What about one-legged/handicapped athletes who’ve been superannuated from the “Special Olympics” and have now turned to conducting? I think we need to be told.

    • “Good conducting should be the only arbiter.”

      …and should there exist programs to help members of hitherto neglected groups become good conductors?

      • There are hundreds of programs available to help anyone become a conductor and as far as I know, none discriminate regarding matriculation. They are open to all. My point is that programs targeting specific groups are not necessary but if they are going to be implemented, they must be implemented fairly in the “Oprah” fashion: a program for you, a program for you, and one for you over there. That is not happening.

  • Never understood the constant fascination with conductors, they are the least interesting people in music. Most are 10 percent skill, 90 percent ego. The true “talent” in an orchestra is found among those sitting on the stage.

    • What a stupid comment. Did a conductor fire you? I’ll bet there are a lot of things you “never understood”

    • Adista writes: “Never understood the constant fascination with conductors, they are the least interesting people in music. Most are 10 percent skill, 90 percent ego.”

      Yes, but don’t try it without the 10 percent skill.

  • How many male conductors and female conductors are there studying conducting? Isn’t it obvious that there are more Male conductors? It seems that it is becoming easier for female conductors to land on a job than male conductors nowadays, considering the ratio of the numbers that are studying.

  • Aren’t we overproducing conductors? Where did last year’s batch go? And next year, where will this batch go? It’s not like we can just eat them up like batches of cookies and keep popping new ones in the oven.

    It’s not like conducting *per se* provides transferable skills, or that conductors can band together with other conductors to form a conducting quartet, or go solo giving conducting recitals, or even, like an amateur instrumentalist … conduct for herself just for her personal pleasure

    • Bad conductors conduct for themselves. Good conductors conduct to serve the music and the musicians that make it happen. Unfortunately there are too many conductors who go to conservatories to study conducting who are ‘careerists’ not people studying music and the neccessarily skills. By the way, I know one of the conductors selected and I am sorry to say that she belongs to the former, and, if she wasn’t a woman she would had never ever had the chance to work in an opera house of the level of Dallas… not because she is a woman but because the only person who thinks she is a conductor is herself (no technique, poor skills, and too much attitude… I think she did not even finish her conducting programme).

  • …a « batch », or a « bunch » maybe….no minimal respect. That word speaks a lot…..I read « nuisance », and I’m not the feminist type. Somehow, I can’t even imagine reading anywhere about a « batch of conductors ». Girls, you still have a lot to overcome !

    • That is probably true of all conducting programmes.

      Keep in mind, even the best conductors on the programme are far from the finished product, and have a great deal to learn. And that will only come with time and experience.

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