Why Nathalie Stutzmann just made it easier for the nextNews
It was September 2007 when Baltimore broke the glass ceiling and appointed a woman as its music director. Marin Alsop has now stepped down but in all those 14 years not one American symphony orchestra dared to follow suit.
It was not for lack of talent (there’s plenty). It was lack of guts.
The lone exception has been Xian Zhang at New Jersey, but she’s not there much and somehow no-one notices New Jersey.
Still, things have changed and will now change faster.
Eun Sun Kim (pictured) is settling in as music director at San Francisco Opera. Nicole Paiement has changed the climate at Dallas Opera. Karina Canellakis is figuring on several current shortlists.
The New York Philharmonic is keen to change its gender bias with, perhaps, Mirga or Simone Young as successor to Jaap.
Chicago is in search mode. Philadelphia, which had Nathalie as principal guest, will want another like her. She has earned her spurs first as a singer and then in midlife as a conductor, mentored by Seiji Ozawa and other astute maestros.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager $50 that the next music director of a major US orchestra will be a woman.