2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

"And Why Should They Spoil Their Good Looks?": A Discussion of the Acceptance of Women in the Symphony Orchestra
Erin H. Miesner
Dr. Jesse D. Krebs, Faculty Mentor

In 1997, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra hired Anna Lelkes--the first female member of the orchestra since its founding in 1842. While this is perhaps the most extreme example of the resistance against women in major symphony orchestras, many opinions of the ability of women to succeed in this profession seem to be rooted in a pre-suffragette world. While women are now gradually playing larger roles in the modern symphony orchestra, there is still a wide gender gap; especially in brass sections and in leadership roles. In this presentation I will explore the history of women's acceptance in symphony orchestras. I will discuss the formation of all-women orchestras, the Vienna Philharmonic's reluctance towards allowing female musicians, the harassment faced by the first women orchestra members, and the appointment of Carol Jantsch--the first female tuba player in a major symphony orchestra.

Keywords: music, symphony orchestras, women, gender roles

Women's and Gender Studies

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 26-1
Location: VH 1010
Time: 9:30

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