‘Conductors see a woman’s name on the score, they won’t look at it’

‘Conductors see a woman’s name on the score, they won’t look at it’


norman lebrecht

July 12, 2020

A quote from the composer Marga Richter, who has died at 93.

The New York Times, which runs her obituary, nobly quotes itself consistently trashing her work.

Read on here.




  • Peter San Diego says:

    To be fair to the Times, not all the reviews were negative. Here’s the earliest one cited:

    “Miss Richter’s works were restless, inventive, dissonant, clean, and her intentions seemed to be well realized,” read a brief review in The New York Times when her compositions were featured in a Composers’ Forum concert at Columbia University in 1951. The review added, “We will hear more from Miss Richter.”

  • Cora cooper says:

    Yes! I was appalled by the dismissive tone of that obituary. Not a mention of all the major symphonies who played her music, of her work founding the Long Island Composers Alliance. Thank you for your incisive comment.

  • fflambeau says:

    She was right for her time period. Perhaps the reverse is true today: witness Jennifer Higdon.

  • M2N2K says:

    Her statement as quoted in the headline may have been true of some conductors until the middle of last century, but it is definitely not true about most conductors performing in this millennium.

  • John Borstlap says:

    It is unlikely that conductors would look at a score the name of which is unfamiliar to them. They are best in performing scores they have performed already many times before and which circle around at the competition.

  • Moto says:

    If they throw a political correctness, and say gently, a conductor and a composer think Caucasian’s man (for the much, homosexual) is best.
    Because I’m Japanese, that’s wishing that it isn’t fact, but unfortunately experience proves that.
    But actually, by the mind, you, by me and unanimousness?