Updated: Apr 20
In the upcoming weeks, music is her passion embarks on an exploratory journey into a very important and exciting musical area for us: classical music. As the cradle of so many musical styles, it is all the more interesting and educative to investigate its origin and its equality status. We invite you to join us on our search for the clues of equality empowerment in a type of music that is equally complex as it is exciting.
With music is her passion, we work towards our vision to investigate and elevate the equality factor of the entire music world. Not only do we look at the entire contemporary music industry with all its wonderful players on and behind the stage, but also at music as a whole: with all its genres and its eventful history. Every month, we shine the light on a different musical and introduce you to more interesting women and queer people in music. This month, our musical journey takes us into the wonderful world of classical music, which has many remarkable stories to tell you about women's empowerment.
Each musical style, made up of symbolic codes marked by the aesthetic conventions of a specific period, represents one of the fundamental tools in the understanding of music and its interpretation.
While we admire the classical music genre for its diverse repertoire, rich history, and enduring impact on modern life and art, we also admit to approaching this topic with slight hesitance. The classical works that lived through centuries of being praised by audiences around the globe have stood the test of time, and their composers are often portrayed as geniuses and put on a pedestal. Many of us music aficionados who have not received a classical music education from a young age do not dare to immerse ourselves in the genre, afraid to misunderstand or offend - we understand that. Contemporary music is often more approachable and tangible to us because we understand the social circumstances that influenced the artists and composers, and we see them as humans just like us. Part of music is her passion's goal on this classical music adventure is to approach composers and other players in the classical music world of today and yesterday as people like us. We want to look at their work, their lives, their goals, and opinions - and show you that classical music is made by people, for people. Despite its complicated history, today, the mother of all music can be enjoyed by everyone equally, regardless of one's education, gender identity, ethnicity or origin.
The very first introduction of female roles in music could not have been more challenging. Hundreds of years ago, the Pauline Commandment of Silence did not only ban women from voicing their opinion, but also from making music. The commandment was effective from the third century to modern times. Especially in catholic societies it was strictly adhered to, but also had an impact on non-Catholic communities. But even if it was not socially respected or tolerated for many centuries - there have always been women who followed their musical paths. The women's movements, beginning in the middle of the 19th century, made a change in thinking possible and paved the way for equality in music.
If we look at classical music today, three areas stand out that seem particularly interesting to us, in terms of equality empowerment: conductors, composers and, musical directors.
On this journey, want to shine a light on all the wonderful and absolutely empowering female conductors from times long past and today.
As in so many other areas of life, the leading positions in classical music had been reserved for men for a long time. To show that it does not have to be this way anymore, we focus on the female artists who defied the norm and present to you the wonderful and very empowering female conductors who are enjoying ever-increasing popularity today. In recent years, the world of female conductors could not be more colorful and diverse. In a historical review, Elfrida Andree immediately catches the eye. Born in 1841 in Sweden, she did some very meaningful work in terms of equality in music while was fighting for her rights as a female organist, composer, and conductor. Also, Chiquinha Gonzaga, born in 1847, is the first woman conductor in Brazil a very empowering figure in the history of music. Furthermore, Nadia Boulanger, born in 1887, is also notable as a conductor, composer, and teacher. She taught many of the leading musicians of the 20th century. They were followed by a series of female conductors who were to be the first women to conduct the orchestras of this world.
To this day, American conductor superwomen Marin Alsop and Simone Young remain living legends and absolute pioneers in their field. Next to them, there are many more remarkable female conductors that rose to the top of the orchestra world in the past century, for instance, Czech composer Vítězslava Kaprálová, Antonia Louisa Brico (the first woman to conduct the New York Philharmonic), Sarah Caldwell (the first woman to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera), and Russian conductor Veronika Dudarova, who was the first woman to succeed as conductor of symphony orchestras. Beyond groundbreaking historical pioneers, the classical music world of today is shaped by many powerful female leaders. With International Women's Day coming up on the 8th of March, we will introduce even more of them to you in powerful portraits and in-depth interviews. Starting tomorrow, dive deep into the classical music world with us, here and on our other channels. We provide you with a colorful selection of female conductors with whom we had the opportunity to have wonderful conversations and enter into a very interesting dialogue about equality in music.