Only women may apply for this composing course

Only women may apply for this composing course


norman lebrecht

January 30, 2022

Following on from the Dartington summer festival course, which is only admitting female conductors, the Paris Chamber Orchestra has put out a call for young composers. Women only need apply.

The course will be led by music director Lars Vogt, who ought by rights to emasculate himself without delay.


  • Anti-woke says:

    If anyone takes this to EU court in Luxemburg, this course will not be happening. Totally discriminating and against the EU Lisbon treaty on human rights and equality.

    • Achim Mentzel says:

      But it is art, you can do anything and nobody cares.

    • GV says:

      The course takes place the UK and EU legislation doesn’t apply there anymore. It is definitely discrimination according to EU law (I consulted a lawyer a couple of years ago), and probably it is so in the UK, but if no one provides the time and resources to challenge it, things will not change. If the masterclass receives public funding and the institution discriminates on sex/age/race they might even lose the public funds.

      I have myself challenged a couple of organizations that had set illegal age limits and the Onbudsman/Défenseur des droits ruled that the organizations had to remove them. Things don’t change for the better if people just complaint but do nothing about it.

      • Enquirer says:

        Does it really take place in the UK? Nothing on the web-page suggests that it takes place anywhere but Paris, France:

        Or are you still raving on about Dartington?

        All these outraged comments simply because four young women composers from conservatories in Paris and the Ile de France are being offered intensive writing workshops and will receive “a commission for an orchestral piece performed by the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, conducted by Lars Vogt, its musical director, at the Théâtre du Châtelet” at the end of the two-year apprenticeship.

        As for EU Law, if it is illegal to offer specialist courses for women , why does the EU itself offer prizes for women innovators?

        • Annablack says:

          EU legislation forbids any kind of discrimination in education, training and employment. It is indeed illegal in any EU country to offer education and training opportunities that discriminate on sex, but as it was said by other here, if the matter of their illegality is not raised to the relevant authorities it is very likely that it will not be prosecuted.

          As women we can freely apply to take part in competitions and training, but it just happens that not many of us apply to conducting and composition training opportunities and competitions, the same way that not many men take part in harp competitions. What would you think of a harp competition or masterclass for men only?

          Courses are not prizes and are not competitions. Prizes are a different matter.

    • AKP says:

      You don’t know your EU law very well do you?

      • La plus belle voix says:

        Fact check: The course is held in the UK. EU legislation which applied directly or indirectly to the UK before 11.00 p.m. on 31 December 2020 has been retained in UK law as a form of domestic legislation known as ‘retained EU legislation’.

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      Please, do it. End this madness. Common sense is clearly not working in making this people understand that discrimination is wrong (including positive discrimination) so, please, go to Luxembourg and restore common sense through the law.

  • John Borstlap says:

    I like it!


  • Enquirer says:

    Old news. This was launched in May 2021: J

    Where’s the harm? Your implication that only eunuchs should encourage women’s career development is rather bizarre.

  • Tamino says:

    Anyone knows where they hand out free suicide sets for us white men? We don’t want to be a burden anymore. Sorry for everything.

  • Achim Mentzel says:

    What a desperate try to catch attention. And in general, him leading a conducting course is a slap in the face to the complete profession of conductors. He should rather take himself some conducting lessons, his useless gesticulating is simply embarrassing. He has no technique at all and lacks of any agogics.

    • Enquirer says:

      It’s a composing course.

      • Achim Mentzel says:

        All the more: which composers, male or female, need a course with a ridiculous conductor flop who has nothing, absolutely zero to say?

        • Enquirer says:

          If you bothered to find out the actual facts, you would see that Lars Vogt is only one of three on the artistic team, the other two being a composer, Clara Olivares, and a composer and organist, Thomas Lacôte. Since the initiative is organized by the Orchestre de chambre de Paris, of which Lars Vogt is the musical director, and since at the end of the course he will conduct the commissioned works, it makes sense that he is part of the team.

          Is he really that bad a conductor? Here’s a sample:
          What do others think?

  • femalecomposer says:

    I don’t see you complaining about Luna Lab, which is for young female composers.

    • Enqurer says:

      Since that is for “composers who are female, non-binary or gender nonconforming”, I’m sure your hint will be taken and the SD outrage will be even more apoplectic!

  • Althea T-H says:

    Eunuchs and ladies only, NL?

  • Bonetti Micaela says:

    Excusez-moi, mais ce niveau de conn…. dépasse mon entendement et mes capacités de supportation!

  • marcus says:

    Presumably this includes blokes in frocks?

  • Nicholas Ennos says:

    Men can take part if they identify as women

  • N/A says:

    …Can’t we just celebrate diversity in this comment section? Just because a course doesn’t involve a white man doesn’t mean it’s suddenly against equal rights. Some of you need to calm down and make a cup of tea, and read up on the history of women composers in classical music. Maybe THEN you’ll realise that initiatives like this are actually needed.

    • John Borstlap says:

      It’s the same as gentlemen’s clubs in London, or a Viennese orchestra entirely made-up of Viennese male musicians, or Italian female mandoline ensembles, or football clubs, or communist government officials, or brass bands: excluding people who don’t belong to the category. So, yes, there’s nothing wrong with it.

      And a little smuggling for artistic reaons should also be allowed. Once a soprano changed my name into Joan for a recital in the context of female music and it went down puffickly OK. Nobody heard any difference and the feminine qualities were highly praised.

  • Ovidiu says:

    Exactly what happened in Paris with Cherubini being the Director of the new Conservatory. He enacted a rule that only French born composers could enroll.

    • John Borstlap says:

      …. which is ironic since he was an Italian.

      But he was an excentric anyway. About him the saying went around: ‘Monsieur Cherubini has a very equal temperament. He is always angry.’