WPR Celebrates Female Conductors

Many Women Are Prominent Classical Performers, But Even Today, Far Fewer Are Conductors

Conductor Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla has a long-term contract with Deutsche-Grammophon Records.

Many women are prominent classical performers and soloists, but even today, far fewer are conductors, especially of major orchestras.

Barriers remain, but many have been overcome by pioneering women like Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony, and JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic (she just won a Grammy for Best Choral Performance).

We frequently play recordings by women conductors, and during the week of March 14, we’ll pay special attention to a number of outstanding female conductors performing a wide range of music. We start on Sunday with a recording conducted by Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, the young Lithuanian conductor who recently became music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony, one of Britain’s most-prominent orchestras.

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Upcoming highlights include:

Sunday, Mar. 14: Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla conducts music by Offenbach.

Monday, Mar. 15: Rachel Podger is conductor and soloist in a violin concerto by Vivaldi; Iona Brown leads music by Stamitz; Marion Alsop conducts music by Barber.

Tuesday, Mar. 16: Mary Springfels leads the Newberry Consort in some Elizabethan music; Chiara Banchini directs the early music group Ensemble 415; Imogen Holst conducts music by her father Gustav Holst.

Wednesday, Mar. 17: For St. Patrick’s Day, Fionnuala Hunt conducts the Irish Chamber Orchestra in music by Joan Trimble, and an Irish Suite by Arthur Duff; Agnieszka Ducmal conducts music by Felix Mendelssohn.

Thursday, Mar. 18: Jean Lamon leads the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra in music by Bach; Imogen Holst leads the English Chamber Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta conducts music by Sibelius.

Friday, Mar. 19: Candida Thompson conducts music by Schoenberg; JoAnn Falletta conducts the Ulster Orchestra in music by Holst; Iona Brown leads a performance of music by Haydn.

Saturday, Mar. 20: Angele Dubeau conducts music by De Falla; Iona Brown leads recorder soloist Michala Petri in a Vivaldi concerto.

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