[From The Advertiser / Australia]
Australian is first woman to head Vienna orchestra
An Australian woman has broken one of the world's last bastions
of male dominance by being named to conduct the prestigious
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sydney-born Simone Young will take the baton on Sunday, becoming
the first female to conduct the 156-year-old orchestra.
The Vienna Philharmonic was ordered to accept women in 1997 if
it wanted to continue receiving state subsidies, but continued
to exclude females by claiming aspiring musicians were not up
In two concerts scheduled this weekend in the Wiener Musikverein,
the site of the famous New Year's concert, Ms Young will conduct
Leonard Bernstein's Overture to Candide, Aaron Copland's Concerto
for Clarinet and Orchestra and excerpts from Mahler's Des Knaben
Wunderhorn and Schumann's Symphony No 4.
Ms Young has been chief conductor at the Australian Opera in
Sydney and Melbourne.
Considered one of the leading conductors of her generation, she
has conducted a broad range of operas and concerts for major
opera companies and orchestras, including the Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden, the Vienna State Opera, the Opera Bastille in
Paris and the Metropolitan Opera in New York. She is currently
head of the Hamburg State Opera and general musical director of
the Hamburg State Philharmonic.
The Vienna Philharmonic was forced to break with its male-only
tradition under pressure from feminists in America who threatened
to disrupt its U.S. tours in the late 1990s.
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