Women Conductors in the UK

Tom Service, blogger with The Guardian, recently interviewed British conductor Julia Jones.

Not surprisingly, the questions for the maestro focused on her gender instead of her repertoire. At least  it was noted by Service himself:

You can probably guess the line of questioning that had been annoying her in interviews she’s been  giving to the British press: her gender, and the sexual politics she has inadvertently had to face in her  career, like, for example, when the Italians made a fuss of her being the first woman to conduct  Wagner there. (Mozart or Rossini would not have been a story, but the perceived Teutonic machismo  of Wagner was another matter.)

Service also goes on to note that the presence of a woman on a podium continues to be an unusual occurrence in the UK, even as it is becoming less remarkable in the US and Europe. Jones herself commented:

It’s only in England that I get asked questions like this”, she said, whereas in Portugal, or Vienna, or  Berlin, or even America, it’s not an issue.

Though there are still marked inequities in the music world in general, and in conducting specifically, progress is being made. Service reports that:

In Lisbon, half of the six conducting jobs in the city are taken by women – which makes Jones  remarkably unremarkable over there, and allows her to concentrate on musical questions rather than  what should be outdated sexual politics. That ratio is also, of course, the ideal gender balance.

The full piece can be found here.