Women on the Podium: Issues and Strategies of Women Orchestral Conductors

Hamer, Laura (2019). Women on the Podium: Issues and Strategies of Women Orchestral Conductors. Estudios bandísticos, 3(1) pp. 21–39.

URL: https://www.estudiosbandisticos.com/journal/index....

Abstract

This article considers the gender-specific issues which women conductors face, which make it difficult for them to succeed on the podium. Attention is focused upon the difficulties they face in being taken seriously, the persistent societal belief that conducting is an unsuitable job for a woman, the fact that conducting remains a male-dominated field, gendered criticism, discipline issues from male musicians, the conflicting demands of family and career, and an apparent lack of role models. It is also considers the various strategies which women conductors have formulated to overcome these, including all-woman orchestras, dress, developing particular niches, and women-only conducting programmes. This article focuses upon orchestral conductors (both historical and contemporary), its premises and conclusions can be extrapolated to the wind-band milieu.

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