120 apply for Karajan’s job, only 2 of them women

The town of Ulm owes its musical glamour to being the first to give Herbert von Karajan a job.

Its podium falls vacant next year for the first time in a decade when Timo Handschuh moves on.

The executive director’s mailbox has bulged with 120 applications. Women, however, are not that interested.

 

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  • Doug says:

    120 applicants is not that large a number in the industry. You should know that, Norman. I suspect the pay is on the lower end of the scale. That could also account for the lack of female applicants. The savvy ones know because of affirmative action they more are likely to be catapulted to the top in the present female-driven environment.

    • MDR says:

      Absolutely correct.

    • Female who never wanted to conduct says:

      Savvy females “know because of affirmative action they more are likely to be catapulted to the top in the present female-driven environment.” Female-driven environment? You do know we live in a patriarchal society, don’t you, Doug? What does female-driven environment even mean? Sure, we have lower rates on car insurance, but we’re still not usually the drivers.

      Your comment does give us a little insight into the resentment you carry, and a possible clue into the reasons you give yourself for your own lack of success.

  • M McAlpine says:

    You’re not trying to blame Karajan for the lack of women applicants I hope? He’s been dead I don’t know how long!

  • Aaron Herschel says:

    The job should be given to a woman anyway, as Ulm never had a female GMD.
    Scrap the audition and give the position to one of the 2 female contenders.

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    … and at least one of them will make it to the final round, regardless of her talent/skill/ability/experience, because it would look too “uncool” having an all-Male audition for a music directorship.

    These are the times we live in. Someone says “there aren’t many women in conducting”, and instead of encouraging women to prepare auditions and applying to study conducting, some people just call for more women on the podium with professional orchestras without thinking that perhaps there are not enough qualified yet. It is a matter of quantity… when more women study conducting more good women conductors will apply and, hopefully, make it to GMD positions.

    By the way, in my orchestra we are 64% in the first violins, and in my studio at a University-level school of my 5 students 4 are women. Should we aim for a 50-50 in my string section too?

    This is not serious.

    • M.Clarinet says:

      Recently, in Vienna, the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien (also known as MDW, recently ranked as Music School No.1 tied with Juilliard) had a week of events with conductor Marin Alsop as part of their ‘Fifty-Fifty in 30’ project (https://www.mdw.ac.at/1166/) that seeks ‘gender equality in music, ten years from now’. They had a panel where they said that in 10 years they hope to have 50% women students in composicion and conducting. To this I can only say:

      1) there is nothing you can do. If women don’t want to apply to study conducting and composition there is not much you can do. And, as FrauGeigerin said in other areas most stududents are women… violin, viola, elementary music teaching, and harp for example. Shouldn’t the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien encourage more men to apply for the (Konzertfach) Diplom – harp?

      2) How does MDW is understanding the 50-50 equality? By having a masterclass with Marin Alsop ONLY for the female students of the three conducting professors the university has. Nice, don’t you agree?

      We are doing all this wrong.

      • AlKloos says:

        I know about this masterclass. It was indeed a very silly thing to do, but it is in line with the ideas of the Rektorin, who is more worried about equality, neutral-gender restrooms, and gender studies than about providing students with good teaching and opportunities.

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    … and at least one of them will make it to the final round, regardless of her talent/skill/ability/experience, because it would look too “uncool” having an all-Male audition for a music directorship.

    These are the times we live in. Someone says “there aren’t many women in conducting”, and instead of encouraging women to prepare auditions and applying to study conducting, some people just call for more women on the podium with professional orchestras without thinking that perhaps there are not enough qualified yet. It is a matter of quantity… when more women study conducting more good women conductors will apply and, hopefully, make it to GMD positions.

    By the way, in my orchestra we are 64% in the first violins, and in my studio at a University-level school of my 5 students 4 are women. Should we aim for a 50-50 in my string section too?

    This is not serious.

  • Mick the Knife says:

    I don’t need to see women conductors. Not a requirement for my enjoying music. But if they want to conduct, they should, by all means, do so.

  • Tom Rakewell says:

    So which of the two female applicants gets the job?

    Wilkommen in Deutschland.

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    It is a relatively glamorous position if one compares it to those of Gustav Mahler at the beginning of his career. The future Music Director of Vienna Court Opera started out his career in some of the most obscure companies & his rise to prominence was even more rapid than that of Karajan.

    • Novagerio says:

      Mustafa: Mahler started in Laibach (Ljubljana), moravian Olmütz (Olomuc), then Prague and Leipzig, hitting it big in Budapest, Hamburg and Vienna.
      As Karajan on the other hand used to put it: “I came from Vienna with that special sound in my inner ear, and suddenly I had to conduct Lohengrin with two cellos and one trumpet (!) – that was when being back in Ulm, where he also was his own stage manager, stage director, chorus master, librarian and Korrepetiteur.
      Yes, solid careers were made differently in the past.

  • Ulm seems to be a hotbed of genius as it is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein.

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