It’s hard to sell a young male conductor

It’s hard to sell a young male conductor

Comment Of The Day

norman lebrecht

January 05, 2022

An anonymous comment, inspired by the summer festival course that is shutting out men:

This is a hard post to write: there is self-evidently an imbalance in the profession, and we need to address it. I’m invariably on the progressive end of almost all identity discussions and generally disapprove of most of what is posted on here, but I think it is necessary to have this important conversation about how. I think in the future, people will write PhDs about gender balance in conducting as a microcosm of post-millennial social realignment, but for now I’m deliberately keeping details as vague as possible…

I must declare my interest and probably therefore bias: I’m a youngish male conductor – young enough to be considered a ‘young artist’, but in the real world, I’m not that young. I’ve worked a little in the US, quite a lot in Europe, but mostly in the UK, almost all with reputable orchestras and opera companies, either as conductor or assistant conductor. Maybe I’m no Dudamel, but I’ve always been busy, and mostly rehired by the people that I work with. Orchestras like me, and I think, objectively, I am quite good at my job, if not a high-flyer… but I still have ambitions for the future. The last few years have been a real struggle, not just because of covid, but also because of the politics that now governs the selection of conductors, especially in the UK and US – that is unless you are a famous old man, and therefore somehow entirely immune to any of this. Having been told many times by agents and employers that I am not ‘viable’ for them because of the ‘political climate’ and that it’s ‘hard to sell young male conductors’, I’m finding it hard to move forward with my career. I’ve even been told by the artistic director of one of the most important orchestras in the world that I would do much better if I were a woman… and they were only half joking. This issue is an open secret. I did probably the best performance of my life with an orchestra I had such chemistry with, but whose management have completely ignored me since; their comms are almost all now about diversity and inclusion, and they have a now role exclusively for female conductors. I could list dozens of personal anecdotes about this, but personally I’m now starting to struggle to fill my planner and considering whether there are other jobs I’m able to make a living from.

The reverse of this coin is that many female colleagues have been told ‘it’s a great time to be a woman’ by directors and agents – I know that many of them find this pretty hard to hear because I’ve had countless conversations about it. For those women who emphatically do deserve the opportunities they are getting, it’s really insulting.

However, it has become quite difficult to watching those less able and less experienced female colleagues vaulting over me and far more talented male conductors than I, making big debut after big debut. For generations, I’m sure there have been many women who have felt the same about their male counterparts, and I think for the more conservative upper echelons of our profession, this male advantage largely remains. For young conductors though, I am fairly certain that being female is the most valuable characteristic you can possess to start gaining professional momentum. Some of these young women will turn out to be exceptional musicians, but my feeling is that disproportionately many could not yet be classed as competent (I know this observation will upset some). A few years on, I’ve seen the careers of many of them start to stall after they are put in situations for which they are not yet ready. Not many of us mere mortals can progress at the speed of a Simon Rattle or Klaus Mäkelä, nor should we, no matter the pressures of the industry. Even sadder, it’s reinforcing bad stereotypes about female conductors: orchestral musicians are learning that young women conductors often don’t have the level of competence it now takes for a male conductor to get an equivalent engagement. As a result, to put it frankly, they give them a really hard time. This is based on anecdotal evidence, and I’d be keen to hear from any orchestral players if they have differing experiences.

I know a certain portion of folk reading this will think me rather bitter and probably not a very good conductor. I can’t be the judge of that, but I believe that what I’ve described above is not the way to fix classical music. So actually I’m really pleased to see that Dartington is doing this. Courses like this are where positive discrimination should be happening, and not in the profession. We understand this readily with other elite jobs: if you want great elite athletes or scientists from less represented groups, you have to get to people young and train them (LOTS of them), not wait until the educational output and then push them into senior positions. To do so in the arts is to diminish the importance of what we do. Courses like this are a great way for young female musicians to start. And ultimately, reserving some of these opportunities for young women, especially pre-conservatoire level, might actually start solving the representation problem in the profession – the pool of applicants to conservatoires will broaden, and then, in turn, the pool of competent conductors available to orchestras. It’s a shame for the young men that might miss out, but there are plenty of other chances out there at this stage in their conducting careers. It’s certainly a lot better than training, gaining experience, making huge sacrifices to become good at what you do, only to be discounted at the final stage entirely based on your gender. Just as in any other job, if you have an experienced and capable team (as most orchestras are) you need an experienced and capable manager, because otherwise the team can’t do its job. Once you’re out there in the real world, gender shouldn’t come into it. If we’re educating people properly, gender equality will be merely a byproduct.


  • Bone says:

    Oh, my, his faith in the halls of academia to produce gender equality is truly frightening. There is little evidence that DEI has improved one group’s lot without destroying opportunities for another. But maybe this young man will be smart and make the career choice to announce that he is actually a trans woman: perhaps then the gig with a major orchestra and representation by a major artist company will be his reward.

    • Tom Clowes says:

      This comment is highly offensive and inappropriate – not to mention inaccurate, since I can’t think of a single trans conductor. Please remove it.

      • sabrinensis says:

        Typically, no sense of humor, appreciation of intelligent sarcasm can be found in your critique of Bone’s comment. For you, this is as common and regular as your quotidian calls for someone’s comment to be removed. Every place you write, you show yourself to be as Stalinist a musician as they come.

      • Jobim75 says:

        You remove yours first

      • gcmp says:

        You are allowed to find it offensive in your opinion. You have no right to censor another person’s opinions.

      • Achim Mentzel says:

        It is very appropriate. The truth hurts.

      • _ G says:

        Well, that is because it is a (rare) mental illness. Certain high-skill or heavily technical professions tend to be more incompatible with certain mental illnesses than others.

        • John Smith says:

          Being transgender is not a mental illness. Are you for real? Educate yourself before you open your foul mouth.

    • _ G says:

      “See, our new conductor is female. Whoah, look at those hands. Hmmmm….”

  • John Borstlap says:

    An excellent comment.

    It is not surprising that suddenly, orchestral planners jump on the bandwagon of the feminine, it shows how they think: music as a business. It has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with music – it’s the wrapping paper as a superficial branding exercise. The author of this comment also mentions in passing: ‘the industry’. And that is entirely wrong, because the term implies profit making. Any money put into classical music, is an investment into the common good and the notion of making money should never come into question. Orchestras are not restaurants, reacting to demand.

    It is very peculiar that the people running an art form have no interest in and no understanding of the content of their ‘business’. Imagine people working at a bank without the slightest interest in money, or a grocer completely indifferent about the state of his tomatos.

    This whole fashionable female conductors hype is working against gender discrimination and gives women handling the wand the air of cheap kitsch and PC warriors. It is degrading them and the music they are supposed to serve.

  • Anon says:

    I disagree. Roderick Cox is a young male conductor. He sells very well and has developed an enviable career over the past few years. Having something to say as a musician is the most important quality.

    • Herr Doktor says:

      Alondra de la Parra!!

    • John Borstlap says:

      I know of young male conductors who dress-up as a woman and make a career out of it, leading a double life so to speak. For instance, I don’t want to mention names, but in professional circles it is well-known that [redacted], [redacted] and [redacted] are, in fact, men. And it so happens that [redacted] went so far as getting pregnant.

    • Allen says:

      I know you and Roderick will not be happy to hear this, but from 1st hand experience I know of a situation where Roderick was auditioning for a conducting position and the orchestra was against him and in favor of a different candidate. Roderick, however, got the position (after much debate and against the will of the players) due to the committee’s decision to hire him because they thought that his race would help their diversity profile. They were later unhappy with their decision. I was there in the room and know these details more intimately than I will share here. Perhaps he has gained more experience and improved since then.

  • _ G says:

    “I’m invariably on the progressive end of almost all identity discussions”. Then you reap what you sow. This is how identity politics were always going to go. Until you understand that, then you are always going to be perplexed at how your progressive utopia is stabbing you in the back.

  • caranome says:

    Get a sex change, or just self identify as transgender. For insurance, self identify as black. Voila! World’s first black transgender conductor. You’ll be booked thru 2028 at minimum at $10,000/gig sight unseen.

  • marianne says:

    who is this conductor, or is it a fictional senario

  • Drew says:

    What a naive young man.

  • DG says:

    Interesting and valuable perspective from this conductor.

    Side note – who’s in the photo?

  • justsaying says:

    Yes, anonymous poster, you are definitely having a harder time advancing your career because you are male. And yes, the push to get from 98% male 50/50 in a few years’ time inevitably results in filling in that missing 48% with some who aren’t ready. (It’ll also result in 48% of the male aspirants who would’ve had the field to themselves looking for other careers.) How could it be otherwise?

    The question – as always with any kind of “affirmative action” in any competitive sphere – is this: What’s the price, what’s the benefit, and are we willing to pay that price for that benefit?

    The supposition behind current trends is that seeing women up there as leaders _now_ will have a profoundly positive impact on the young girls who might imagine a future on the podium, the way you did when you started – thus enriching the talent pool whose training you describe.

    If that’s true, then the next decision is whether it’s worth tolerating some un-readiness in the present, and holding back a few guys like yourself.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Every time I come to the work place here I feel a tinge of resentment that it’s me who is the PA instead of him. I would really like to change positions, but the work this would include, frightens me a bit. So I have to accept being suppressed but it’s with a heavy heart. Let’s hope for a more fair world!


    • guest says:

      “The supposition behind current trends is that seeing women up there as leaders _now_ will have a profoundly positive impact on the young girls who might imagine a future on the podium, the way you did when you started – thus enriching the talent pool whose training you describe.”

      Yes, this is the supposition, or rather, the justification. Let’s take a close look at this justification.

      1. How many young people (read children and very young teens) do you know, who attend classical music concerts? I know very few. Children being the only demographic susceptible to this type of identity politics. Granted, there are also immature adults susceptible to this, otherwise we wouldn’t witness the current brouhaha in the media, but my guess is they aren’t the demographic feeding the music schools, much more comfortable to sit on your coach stoking the online fires than to actually study something.

      2. How many of the people in the auditorium, regardless of age, spend their time staring at the back of the conductor’s head, if there is something else going on on stage? Unless the orchestra is on stage, you won’t see more than the back of the conductor’s head during the concert. And if the orchestra is accompanying a soloist, people would look at the soloist, not at the conductor. Conductors beginning with Toscanini did their damned best to make audiences believe the show is about them, but fact is, when the orchestra isn’t carrying the show alone, the show is about the soloist (concert), or singers (opera). (The fact you see the conductor on the _podium_ instead of in the _pit_ says it all.) You may argue the conductor could figure prominently on screen during a broadcast, if the producer decides the camera should stay on him. This is true, but I would also argue it’s mostly the same demographic who decides to watch a concert/opera online or on TV, as the demographic to be found in the theaters. Show me the many kids who are counting the hours til the beginning of a classical music broadcast. Plenty of them counting the hours to a pop concert.

      3. There are already more conductors than orchestras, with the universities diligently churning out more. There are already more singers, classical instrument players, etc, than jobs for them. I wonder at the parent pushing his child in good conscience into this field, unless the parent has a large independent income, in which case it doesn’t matter whether the child would get a job or not.

  • True North says:

    Terribly unfair. After all, no woman has ever been denied a professional opportunity on the basis of her gender. And not once in hundreds of years of music history has a less-qualified male ever received preferential treatment simply because he was a man.

    • John Borstlap says:

      But that is not true. Johann Christian Bach, Süsmayer, Thalberg, Raff, Cornelius, Fauré, Franck, Auric, Boulez, etc. etc. were all ‘less-qualified’ but we still know about them because they happened to be men.

  • Two centuries of excluding women conductors = silence.
    Two years of excluding male conductors = howl to the heavens.

  • Guest says:

    I seriously cannot believe you wrote comment like this. In which world do you see women getting jobs because they are women? I am one of those female conductors you mention, and I am struggling for the last 4 years, since getting my diploma (so, way before pandemic started), to get even a job interview, let alone a concert or anything else. People like you are the reason why people like me cannot get their chance. You’re selfish and incompetent and figured it’s easy to blame it on few female colleagues, than to assess what’s wrong with you. You should be ashamed of yourself. I
    would put you here on Balcan and let you struggle every day to get a job as a conductor. Do you know what your next comment would be? Oh no, gays get jobs, I am discriminated because I am not gay. Not a single woman conducts here, and that is because of stupid idiots like you, and of course, because orchestras value old men and foreigners better than anyone else.
    Bottom line – you’re probably not that good, and it’s better to be bitter online than to try to fix youe technique or something else. Get some therapy, you entitled brat.

    • David Derrick says:

      Don’t be so incredibly rude. I assume you write like this all the time.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      Then leave the Balkans if there aren’t any opportunities there. Many of us have had to exile to find work.

    • La plus belle voix says:

      Slight anger issue Guest? Hope you don’t treat the orchestra the way you deal with those who comment here.

    • Jacques says:

      Thank you for sharing your experiences.

    • Anon says:

      This is an incredibly disappointing and petulant reply, considering the nuance and care taken over the original post. There is nothing remotely ‘brat-ish’ or entitled about the piece – it’s a very well worded reflection on the state of things. Also, you wrote “I am one of those female conductors you mention, and I am struggling for the last 4 years…” – in which case you aren’t one of the female conductors he mentions, because he’s talking about female conductors being promoted to opportunities miles above their abilities, which clearly doesn’t apply to you. If you’re a very good conductor – male or female – I genuinely wish you every success.

      • Rupert Swyer says:

        Maybe some people are aiming too high too fast. Some eminent orchestral conductors (Herrewegh, Jacobs, Equilbey…) started out forming and leading choral groups then made the jump. After decades of singing with male-led choirs in France, I recently joined one led by a highly competent, knowledgeable, musical woman. Sure, she’s not making thousands per concert, but I believe she gets a lot of satisfaction from what she does, on top of her job teaching in a conservatoire. Bottom line, try lowering your sights, then raise them as you build a reputation.

    • Peter Nguyen says:

      I believe it’s your attitude that’s not winning you work, not his.

    • Steven says:

      “People like you are the reason why people like me cannot get their chance. You’re selfish and incompetent and figured it’s easy to blame it on few female colleagues, than to assess what’s wrong with you.”

      You’re wisdom is misdirected. If you haven’t even gotten a job interview in 4 years, maybe you should assess what is wrong with you.

      “you’re probably not that good, and it’s better to be bitter online than to try to fix youe technique or something else. Get some therapy, you entitled brat.”

      Read your comment and look in the mirror. You are dripping with bitterness and jealousy. Don’t blame this conductor for your problems.

  • La plus belle voix says:

    An excellent post.

    I can not imagine anyone is against a Dartington course for female conductors.

    The uproar, if one will, is to do with the ridiculous wording “Dartington’s famous conducting course open only to applicants who identify as women for the first time in its history”. (They can’t even to make a readable sentence put words in a sensible order.)

    Why not simply hold a course for men and a course for women? Period. And leave out agendaism and Orwellian language?

    Personally, in the context of training and education, I could not give a tinker’s cuss about who identifies as what, and would just like to watch them conduct.

  • Alexander Hall says:

    I can understand why any young male conductor might feel hard done by. But it’s not women who should bear the brunt of any criticism. Sooner or later, if they are found wanting, female conductors will disappear without trace, like so many of the much-hyped winners (all male) of conducting competitions decades ago. Where are they now? Nowhere. The simple fact is that there really isn’t enough room at the top for all the hopefuls, regardless of gender. Orchestras do not simply need technicians (this is a repeated failing of many who aspire to the very top), they need personalities who can inspire and energise. Such individuals are indeed rare, which is why we don’t have 100 Rattles, Dudamels or Mirgas. And these individuals need not only super-egos but an understanding of human psychology, in other words how to get the very best out of a group of musicians. Why aren’t there more captains of industry like Richard Branson or entrepreneurs like Steven Bartlett? Because outstanding talent is a rare commodity. As it is in the music profession and any other walk of life.

  • Paul Barte says:

    Unequal representation ≠ unequal opportunity. Is it sexist that most audiologists are women? That most professional flutists are women? Not necessarily. Show me unequal opportunity (difficult to prove!) and then I’ll pay attention.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Let’s say you were a brain surgeon instead of a conductor. You are white, dedicated, competent, has just got a PhD degree, and is just waiting that ‘Oberarzt’ position that you deserve in that attractive ‘Universitätsklinikum’, and most of your pairs agree. However, the position goes to an incompetent colleague which happens to be non-white and identifies with another sex, by the simple reason that politicians and administrators think that ‘it is time’. The consequences are that your career is stagnated (you will have the same hinder elsewhere), some patients will be ‘collateral damage’, the hospital will get bad reputation (there are quality registers), and in the long run the healthcare system gets less confidence from the public; the way back is hard but there is a possibility, since people don’t like to be slaughtered on operation theaters.

    In your case the orchestra’s level will lower, but the general public will not even notice. In the Arts everything goes.

  • Another Young Male Conductor says:

    Extraordinarily well said.

  • Violinist says:

    I don’t think many people are very informed about the real issue here. This is not only about female or minority conductors. This is about funding. Many orchestras now receive grants and government funding by demonstrating diversity, inclusivity and gender parity. That person often commenting that orchestras are not like restaurants is misguided . Orchestras do respond to demand from public and government funding. Without money they cannot pay well deserved musician salaries. It’s really that simple.
    But, there is a silver lining: some conductors who are experienced are giving the time and resources (and by all standards paid for their time) to train young conductors be they male or female, white or black, straight or gay. The recent masterclasses of the Concertgebouw with Ivan Fischer or the online classes with Neeme Jaarvi and John Axelrod have all trained men and women based on quality, not equality.
    The idea that a conductor should put on a dress to get a gig is symptomatic of a larger problem: That orchestras and presenters are primarily dependent on funding and ticket sales, not the artists themselves.
    The question is whether the musicians and public embrace this affirmative action in classical music. According to what I have heard and seen, there is grumbling in the pit and in the seats. To be honest, and I’m sure most would agree, there is no substitute for experience, repertoire and maturity.

    • John Borstlap says:

      “It’s really that simple.”

      No, it isn’t THAT simple at all.

      It is not true that both audiences and governments are forcing orchestras to merely act as restaurants. There’s enough space for programming strategies which are about content, together with the conductor. Where the funding question strangles any other consideration, the orchestra is indeed reduced to a restaurant. It’s really that simple.

      Conductors who have a real musical ambition, don’t like at all to merely do the crowd pleasers to calm the financial department. Performers who see themselves as waiters, aren’t simply that good.

      For funding applications it is puffickly possible to both answer conditions of equality and having an independent programming strategy. This depends upon the competence and imagination of planners and performers. There are enough eminent orchestras who achieve this.

      One of the recent examples of such successful strategies is the enormous undertaking by the Hong Kong Philharmonic to perform the entire Ring in concert format, and to have it put on CD (Naxos). It was the first time ever for the players to do this great chunk of symphonic music, so you can imagine the work load it must have created. They did every one of the 4 operas in a different season, and in the end put everything together in one of the best recordings of the work. Both the live performances and the recording are an international success. It took great courage and an immense investment of effort and money to get it done and it worked. Who would have thought this difficult music would be welcomed so strongly in such a different culture? Chinese audiences were spellbound and bought the box en masse.

    • Tibor says:

      Violinist, you are correct about the directives for inclusion coming from above but the depth of the problem is yet to manifest itself. That grumbling in the pit and in the seats you rightly observe will sooner or later translate into an economic loss (yes, money!) when the paying public are finally have enough of decining merit and patronising ideology. It’s beginning to happen.

  • Francisco says:

    “It’s a shame for the young men that might miss out, but there are plenty of other chances out there at this stage in their conducting careers.” You wrote it, not me.

  • And another young male conductor says:

    Yes, I completely agree, same situation and very similar observations here.

  • PVer says:

    He has obviously missed a trick… He can always identify himself as a woman, or a binary or whatever.

  • Curvy Honk Glove says:

    “The future is female!”
    -Hillary Clinton

    • John Borstlap says:

      Yes, but to which extent by overruling the ‘deplorables’?

    • Achim Mentzel says:

      And Trump became President.

      • Curvy Honk Glove says:

        Trump WAS president, Achim. Now the Americans have the first female Vice-President and she’s set her mind to being the best Vice-President ever. If this is any indication, the future IS female.

        • Violinophile says:

          I love Hillary, but If she had spent the time and effort in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania instead of taking them for granted, and explained her agenda better, the future would already be here.

  • msc says:

    I don’t know about the author’s situation, and maybe there are other issues involved, but his overall point is surely correct. I work in academia and thirty years ago young female Ph.D.s and ABDs were being snapped up at a greatly disproportionate rate. I know two young male academics that gave up after persistently seeing female candidates without better qualifications land job after job they had applied for.

  • henry williams says:

    I have a photo of myself aged 9 months in a dress. the trouble the grandchildren
    just laugh. my wife thinks i looked sweet.

  • Stephen Gould says:

    There is a point as yet unmentioned. If you google “young female conductors” and look at “images” you will see lots of photos of young female conductors. Not a single one of them is fat or ugly and most are significantly more attractive than average. This could either be music world’s most astonishing series of coincidences or…

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      … natural selection.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Indeed it’s the music world’s most astonishing series of coincidences. Only attractive young women have the courage to take up the wand and challenge male prejudice that only attractive young women deserve to be seen and heard.

  • Kurt says:

    “If we’re educating people properly, gender equality will be merely a byproduct.”

    His final sentence and summation is patently false, though. There are inherent biological, physical and mental differences between men and women.

    Even perfect education would never produce perfect equity (equality of outcome) between sexes. Can we “educate” women to become as physically strong as men? Is there an “education” problem because women don’t dominate the field of weightlifting? Just because conducting doesn’t utilize the size and strength of muscles as the driving factor doesn’t mean that there aren’t still biological differences at play, not to mention the difference in interest level in the first place (which itself shouldn’t necessarily be a problem).

    • John Borstlap says:

      I agree that men and women are very different. I face this fact every working day but I’m still wondering whether that is a bad thing, looking around.


  • String player says:

    I was an orchestral violinist for almost 11 years. I am sure you all feel that political correctness killed the progress, especially in our profession. The best conductors are clear to follow and depending on the time, they will say some words to add in the interpretation, or to explain something to a player with lower IQ. There was a petition in the orchestra to ban a conductor because the players felt offended by his feedback, he said we (the orchestra) need to behave like professionals. He left after the concert and never came back… New conductors came, all of them nice and pretty, no substance at all.

    • John Borstlap says:

      There is an increasing fear among conductors to offend players, hence their reluctance to correct them. When an orchestra is evidently playing out of tune and out of sync, this is a sign that the players have never been offended by any correction; they may be playing badly but they are happy.

  • Maestra says:

    Vanesssa Benelli Mosell is clearly a great conductor. Better than all the men out there.

  • Another other other male conductor says:

    Agree with every word of this.

  • Tribonian says:

    I’m not a professional musician, just a regular concert goer.

    The identity of the performer tends not to affect my decision whether or not to buy a ticket – opportunities are limited where I live, and attendance is largely determined by the programme, not the performer. When I started going to concerts in the 1980s, I approached performances by the relatively rare female conductors on the assumption that they had earned the right to be there and were probably more determined and/or better than most of the men their age (Jane Glover with the London Mozart Players springs to mind).

    Now, after a reasonably good but not stellar performance, I find myself thinking that I’ve heard a well-connected diversity hire.

  • Greg Tiwidichitch says:

    Conductor Hiring Order
    (those below do not necessarily require outstanding talent)

    1) Established 70plus conductor in the global major circuit
    2) Young female
    3) Established 50plus in the minor-major orchestra circuit
    4) Young male
    5) the latest “flavor” of popularity (ethnic, orientation, etc)
    6) sometimes ability (ability as determined by many verifiable and credible sources)

    Never Hired Order

    1) established 50plus with credible ability and above with metropolitan orchestras
    2) young newbies with little or no experience
    3) the latest “flavor” of non-popularity (political views, non-musical group affiliation, etc)

    • Tribonian says:

      I think you’ve got 4 and 5 the wrong way around, but otherwise this seems to be depressingly accurate.

  • M2N2K says:

    The main problem with this whole issue is in the very first sentence of the post in question: “there is self-evidently an imbalance in the profession, and we need to address it”. No we don’t, just like we don’t need to “address” it in plumbing and in rhythmic gymnastics. Wherever there is discrimination, we certainly need to do everything possible to eliminate it, because the only measurements taken into consideration should be merit and quality.

  • yet another young male conductor says:

    couldn’t agree more…

  • Ratatouille says:

    Let talent, competence, charisma and real leadership win. Gender issues and political correctness don’t belong here (and actually they don’t belong anywhere).

  • La plus belle voix says:

    Fact check: recent peer-reviewed studies clearly demonstrate that both the significance of and influence of role models on professional outcomes have been hugely over estimated. If fact, they can result in negative “skew” trends. Transfer these findings to the realm of conducting, and we have to conclude that encouragement for young girls to take up the baton must have a different point of departure.

    • John Borstlap says:

      One of the reasons people pick-up conducting is living in an appartment with über-sensitive neighbours behind thin walls: practicing does not make any sound.

  • A Dolfadam says:

    Women have always used their gender, their looks to get ahead, and heterosexual men always fall for it. They don’t care about gender equality, just getting what they want. That applies to 90% of my colleagues. Everyone gets screwed when there is such an agenda governing hiring, most of all, audiences. But then, I’ve suffered through concerts with Eschenbach, Welser-Moist, wondering how they got ahead.

  • Droth says:

    Take senorita Lina Gonsales Granados, for example. It hurts seeing her on the podium. So awkward. So not ready yet. Disservice to the cause.