Women conductors

color photo of the U.S. Constitution
Josh Hallett / Flickr

Democracy has been called the worst form of government except for all the others. In the United States, democracy is inextricably linked with the presidency, that august office which votes fill, which pundits punch and where the buck famously stops for the commonweal. 

color photo of conductor JoAnn Falletta conducting
Fred Stucker / joannfalletta.com

This week, I had the pleasure of talking with JoAnn Falletta. Music director of both the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony orchestras, Maestra Falletta is in Columbus to conduct the Columbus Symphony, 8 p.m. Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 in the Ohio Theatre.

color photo of a night shot of Kabul, showing city lights and mountains
Hassan Reza / Flickr/Creative Commons

In a country where music and educating girls were once banned, a 17-year-old girl recently became Afghanistan's first female conductor, according to BBC News.

Negin Khpolwak is a student at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music, where recently she conducted a student ensemble in a concert.

"I want Afghanistan to be like other countries in the world, where girls can become pianists and conductors."

Lau Kwok Kei

All this month, during Women’s History Month, The American Sound will feature performances by noted American women conductors, and online stories showcasing the conductors’ careers and accomplishments. Tune in Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Classical 101, and follow this blog as the series unfolds.

Sarah Hicks
Courtsey of the artist

All this month, during Women’s History Month, The American Sound will feature performances by noted American women conductors, and online stories showcasing the conductors’ careers and accomplishments. Tune in Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Classical 101, and follow this blog as the series unfolds.

When in 2009, conductor Sarah Hicks took over for the retiring Doc Severinsen as principal conductor for pops and presentations with the Minnesota Orchestra, even she said Severinsen could not have had a more different successor. So she’s not surprised that the Minnesota audience might have taken a little while to adjust to her.

We are long past needing a special month to salute women conductors; indeed the appellation is itself out of date. A conductor is a conductor, the term maestra the only concession and that not needed by every conductor born a woman.

However, ‘hooks’ are convenient and so I’ll take advantage of March as Women’s History Month to salute a remarkable woman-in music, who was a large part of my life growing up.

Joann Falletta leads the London Symphony Orchestra
Courtsey of the artist / Joann Falletta

All this month, during Women’s History Month, The American Sound will feature performances by noted American women conductors, and online stories showcasing the conductors’ careers and accomplishments. Tune in Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Classical 101, and follow this blog as the series unfolds.

All this month, during Women’s History Month, The American Sound will feature performances by noted American women conductors and online stories showcasing the conductors’ careers and accomplishments. Tune in Saturdays at 6 p.m. and Tuesdays at 7 p.m. on Classical 101, and follow this blog as the series unfolds.