Past, Present and Future of Women in Classical Music


What special challenges do women musicians face that their male counterparts don’t? Have those challenges changed, and in what ways? How do traditional music organizations work towards inclusion in the 21st century? In this podcast episode, recorded on May 20, 2019 at Books Inc’s Opera Plaza location, we partnered with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music to host a panel discussion on women’s emerging roles in classical music, the issues and challenges female musicians face, and a look at the future of inclusivity in music. Moderated by SFCM faculty member, author, opera singer and neuroscientist Indre Viskontas, this event featured an honest and hopeful look at women’s work within classical music from our panel accomplished female musicians including Nicole Paiement of Opera Parallele, Cordula Merks of San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, and Melissa Kleinbart of the San Francisco Symphony. This event was inspired by Catherine Womack’s article on the diversity and female composers working with L.A. Phil. Titled “Sanctuary Symphony,” her story was published in the Summer 2019 issue of Alta.


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Beth Spotswood is Alta's digital editor, events manager, and a contributing writer.
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