Three women take over Italian orchestra

Giornale della Musica reports that the Florence-based Orchestra della Toscana has appointed three women conductors.

Eva Ollikainen, 37, will be music director.

Beatrice Venezi, 29, from Lucca, and the Turkish Italian Nil Venditti, 24, will be principal guests.

Beatrice Venezi, Eva Ollikainen, Nil Venditti (Photo Marco Borrelli)


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  • The worst thing that can happen right now to a conductor starting a career is being a white european male. We are fighting historical discrimination with more discrimination, fighting fire with gasoline.

  • Goodness. Next thing you know, there’ll be left-handed conductors taking over major posts too! The world’s changing.

  • I don’t really think this ought to be considered news. There are plenty of other groups that ought to be considered besides just women. How about all-Indian? Or All-South African? Or all-above 60? Or how about under 25? It ought to be based on MERIT and SKILL. Why must there be affirmative action for anyone????

  • Even worse than all of this, an orchestra might actually appoint someone with a sense of musicality (anyone remember what that was, from the age when giants walked the earth?)

  • I’m really not very interested on whether they are female or not. Congratulations to them all on being appointed; do we know if they are any good; names to watch for; is anyone aware of them giving any notable performances?

    I’m certain all three of these musicians would be glad to be discussed on their artistic merit. Hope they do well.

    • We might read soon – gown designed by Armani or Chanel….whatever….it is often not about the power of music anymore…even with male conductors. Wonder if they get paid the same as men. Worried!

  • I’m fine with women being conductors. As long as they still have time to make lasagna and pie for their husbands. Plus keep up with the housecleaning duties!

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