Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Is the BBC serious about womrn conductors ? Xian Zhang BBC NOW

Is the BBC serious about women conductors ? Xian Zhang has just been appointed Principal Guest of BBC NOW.

 Gender should not be an issue at all, since no-one3 conducts with their anatomy,. As ,ong as the person conducting does the job well, all else is irrelevant. No -one conducts with their anatomy.

No-one good, anyway, would fall back on gender as get ahead. Xiuan Zhang is good, and to her credit, stayed out of the silly media circus surrounding women conductors. Ultimately that circus is a hypocritical scam. Understanding what makes a conductor good involves a bit of musical nous and taste.  So it's much easier for the media to fall back on gender  stereotypes. Ultimately that harms the cause.  This media circus creates tokenism, which ultimately harms the cause of women in the industry. There are good women conductors around  who don't deserve to ignored because they aren't media darlings. In any case  conducting means not a thing to millions of ordinary women all over the world suffer poverty, abuse, and hardship every day of their lives .The media focus on women conductors a white middle class male-oriented media construct, which ignores wider issues. It's shameful that some women are drawn into a debate which is actually anti-women.

Xian Zhang has built a solid career throughout Europe, and is Chief Conductor at the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi (Laverdi). Despite its name and home town, it's not, strictly speaking, an opera orchestra. Founded in 1993, its repertoire is broad and wide ranging. She's been working with BBC NOW for several years : they're an orchestra which has improved considerably since the appointment of Thomas Søndergård. She's been a part oif this revitalization, which is why she's got the job. 

Is the BBC really serious about women conductors though ?  Gett8ng Marin Alsop to conduct the Last Night oif the Proms the first btime was a good idea, helped a lot  by Joyce DiDonato's visionary commitment. But to do the same thing a second time ?  Like a stale joke, it falls flat on repeat. There are good women conductors around who could do the job with style - Susana Mälkki, for example - but they're not going to get the chance while BBC management thinks in media clichés. Thank goodness that BBC NOW can recognize quality when they hear it. 

Original Content: Is the BBC serious about womrn conductors ? Xian Zhang BBC NOW

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