A conducting competition without women

A conducting competition without women


norman lebrecht

June 03, 2022

In 2022, who’d have thought?

Oh, it’s Monte Carlo.

Here the candidates of the Second Qualifying Round of the Evgeny Svetlanov International Competition:
1. Henri Christofer Aavik (Estonia), 27 y.o.
2. Elias Brown (USA), 27 y.o.
3. Samy Rachid (France), 29 y.o.
4. Ilya Ram (USA / Israel), 31 y.o.
5. Harish Shankar (Germany), 38 y.o.
6. Euan Shields (USA), 23 y.o.
7. Jesko Sirvend (Germany), 35 y.o.
8. Hankyeol Yoon (South Korea / Germany), 28 y.o.


  • John Fields says:

    It’s better to have no women at all than quota women like the giggling puppet in the Rotterdam Competition finals.

  • Jessica says:

    thanks god

  • Franz1975 says:

    If it is that the best competitors have all been men, that is very good. Competitors should be based only on quality, and if one day all the best competitors are women, that will be good too.

    But a competition with only men in the final is not surprising since most conducting students are men. There is nothing wrong with that: almost all harp students are female, and in harp competitions it is rare to see men in the finals.

  • Karl says:

    Depp victorious! Ban the broads!

  • Louie says:

    Sure. And major orchestras without women principals include Cleveland, Berlin, Vienna, and San Francisco. And female conductors being presented in top 10 orchestras? Maybe each has one or two weeks. Classical music is still a boy’s club, unfortunately.

  • Gwyn Parry-Jones says:

    Refreshing in a way. I’d rather have no women than token women.

  • Achim Mentzel says:

    Anyone who understands the elementary rules of mathematics, and therefore statistics, would have thought so.

  • Manu says:

    Oh please stop protesting There is now so many women on the podiums now. The change in 5 years has been massive. Still not enough?

  • Norabide Guziak says:

    Maybe they were selected on merit.

  • Maria says:

    Better than just having the token woman as a statistic or a quota. In this case, may the best man win!

  • Frankster says:

    Didn’t know that the inclusion of a woman on the final list is an obligation. Is there a black? An oriental? A Native American?

  • Nina says:

    Didn’t know the name of Svetlanov is so popular in Monaco. Proud of the Soviet conducting school and legacy. No dubbed patriotism, just proud of. Thanks for posting this.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    But what’s the full story here ? Maybe only men applied ? Not much to base this dramatic headline on.

  • Vittorio Parisi says:

    We should know how many woman applied and what was their level.

  • Roberta says:

    There were two women candidates, not good enough for being qualified to the second round. Very normal in 2022.
    Who would had thought in a such poor article in 2022?!

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Any idea about male/female ratios among conducting students in leading music schools 5-10 years ago?

  • Richard Cheese says:

    Shameful… clearly a sexist set of judges. Perhaps a Putin-endorsed event?

  • Peter says:

    The CEO is a woman. Half the executive committee are women.
    “The Competition is open to conductors of all nationalities who have completed their training. Applications will be considered regardless of candidates’ political persuasion, ethnic origin, faith, gender, marital status or disability unrelated to the profession.”
    Maybe, it is to do with the Nordic gender equality paradox?

  • Thomas M. says:

    Maybe there simply weren’t any qualified female applicants. Not everything is about #metoo.

    In 10 years they’ll be complaining if there aren’t any transsexual applicants.