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Thread: What's in the men conductors that women can't do?

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    Smile What's in the men conductors that women can't do?

    Hi, I am a music student from Southeast Asia.Currently, I am taking up conducting lessons. Some are giving opinions that usually female conductors are not as effective as male conductors. In the history of music, most known conductors are men and I didn't even hear a woman's name in the list.What can you say about it? What's in the men conductors that women can't do in conducting a choir? Do you know of any women conductors who became popular in such field?

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    Keri-Lynn Wilson is my favorite.

    dj

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    Senior Member opus67's Avatar
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    One name I know - Joann Falletta

    Of course, having read David's post, I've come to know of another.
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    Senior Member Keemun's Avatar
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    Marin Alsop is the only female conductor I can think of. (Click HERE for her website.) As for conductors being historically male, that can be said of almost any chosen/elected leadership position (as opposed to a position that is inherited), whether it be corporate CEOs or the leader of a country. Asking what men can do that women cannot do in the field of conducting is to open a debate on the merits of the two sexes that would be both endless and pointless.

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    Senior Member Oneiros's Avatar
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    Bah, come to Australia and get a good dose of feminism - then you won't even listen to those fools.

    Seriously though, try not to let it bother you. We're in the 21st century now, and those sorts of opinions about women are becoming more and more archaic. If you're dedicated and passionate, you can be as successful as you want to be, regardless of whether anyone has done it before you.

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    Junior Member Roni22's Avatar
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    I had the honour of singing in a choir conducted by Therees Tkach-Hibbard. Absolutely wonderful woman, and a very very effective conductor. I think she now left Imperial College though.

    I still cherish the thought of once singing in a choir with her conducting!
    Last edited by Roni22; Sep-12-2007 at 02:03.

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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    As long as this topic began in the "Voice and Choir" thread, I'll hint at my previous hometown by mentioning former Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chorus Director Margaret Hillis, who (I'm made to understand) has also "understudied" in the event of conductor cancellations. I've also heard Catherine Comet live, and found it to be a quality concert.

    Perhaps our New England contingent can share any memories of Sarah Caldwell, and our Albion Islanders can add some observations on Sian Edwards and/or Jane Glover.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keemun View Post
    Marin Alsop is the only female conductor I can think of. (Click HERE for her website.) As for conductors being historically male, that can be said of almost any chosen/elected leadership position (as opposed to a position that is inherited), whether it be corporate CEOs or the leader of a country. Asking what men can do that women cannot do in the field of conducting is to open a debate on the merits of the two sexes that would be both endless and pointless.
    It seems you can watch her here at the Concertgebouw.

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    Junior Member LFcatface's Avatar
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    Anyone interested in the subject of gender and conducting might find the below link to the article ,Divine Diva Intervention:the myth of the male maestro
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/beverl...n_b_66348.html

    I will be up front and admit that I did know "Bubbles" Beverly Sills(Manuel) but I have not spoken to her since her death.

    Eve Queller is one of the most well known and best loved conductors in the opera world and Rebecca Miller (I have performed under her baton) is an up and coming conducting star that music fans should watch.

    Let's also remember that women were not even permitted to be full members of the Vienna Philharmonic until 1997!!!!!!

    In that kind of an environment how can we even begin to think that the fact that there have been,historically, fewer female Maestros, has not been influenced by societal limitations placed upon women?
    Last edited by LFcatface; Nov-23-2007 at 13:47. Reason: sp

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    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    It seems you can watch her here at the Concertgebouw.
    I watched the 2006 all Shostakovich concert some days ago. It was fantastic. She is at the Baltimore SO now, isn't she?

    I will be up front and admit that I did know "Bubbles" Beverly Sills(Manuel) but I have not spoken to her since her death.
    Had you spoken to her since then, it would have been a curious experience I suppose.

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    Senior Member Lisztfreak's Avatar
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    I don't think women are less good at conducting, it's simply that there are much, much less female conductors. Since the ratio of women-to-men in the business is about 1:300, it's rather understandable that we hear of very few masterful ''conductoresses''. Why they are so few, in the first place, is unclear to me, but we must be aware that classical music has always been a ''men's business'' (as have most of the things) and that women simply engage less in it. There are a couple of female virtuosos, very few female composers, and even less female conductors. It's bad, and we can blame the tradition.

    I know of Clio Gould, for example. I have a disc with her conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: it's ''English String Classics''.

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    Of course woman are as good at conducting as they are at composing, very good at multi tasking but lack the ability to focus (in general)

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    Junior Member LFcatface's Avatar
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    Default Conducting requires both

    Conducting requires both concentration and multi-tasking.

    As is the words of a Russian conducting teacher.

    He said, very urgently, "You have to focus, you have to focus!"

    Except the o in focus was pronounced like a short U as in the sound of u in the word "up".

    Everyone there was hysterical with laughter!

    hee, hee,

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    Perhaps the big stage presence?

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    After working with so many horrible choir conductors, male and female, it's sort of makes sense to me now. Choir conductors often can get by with talking a lot about all the music they know, yelling at the chorus, and let the accompanist do all the work. (Obviously there are some great chorus directors out there, but there are just as many or more really bad ones in way too high of positions). So when you look at it that way, the ability to smoke a cigar while mixing in Faure with a conversation over sex and religion is just as important as any other musical skill... giving many guys the advantage. -Really, it does seem like there is preference to guy directors, I'm sure not based on ability, but more so on likability as a guy. Choral directing is almost as much image as it is leadership, and too many people long for that worldly cigar smoking music savvy man image over the strong puritan woman image.

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