Concertmaster Frank Almond posted a thought provoking article on 11/6/2013 on the topic of women conductors. Written from his perspective of someone in the front row of orchestra musician trenches, he provides some much needed clarity on the topic.
You may wonder what angle could possibly be missing from the avalanche of words spilled (and sometimes wasted) on what is rapidly becoming a tiresome dialogue (to me, anyway). Here’s a little secret, at least in my experience: nobody cares. That is to say, truly gifted conductors are in such short supply these days that most orchestras wouldn’t care if you are male, female, or some combination as long as you possess that intangible and complex set of skills that both inspires and challenges a large group of musicians to play their best on a regular basis without growing to despise you in the process. And even if that happens, they’ll still be happy about some great concerts.
That pretty much says it all. Outrageous attitudes by some in the field notwithstanding, most of the professionals actually making the music don’t care about which vowel appears at the end of the ceremonial title.
And that’s exactly the way it should be.
I’d go so far to say board members and executives think more about it than the musicians; in fact, that would make for a fascinating study.
But what do you think, is Almond’s assessment of musician attitudes overly generous or spot on?