Happy Women´s day to all women
and men who believe in equality
International Women’s Day
March 8 th 2010
Ana Maria Llopis
March 8th 2010
I will tell you the story, not so well
known as it should be, of
Innovation in the American
Orchestras and the key lucky idea
on how more women started to be
Ana Maria Llopis
March 8th 2010
In the 70s the % of women musicians in the
American orchestras was between 5-10% and
relatively stable with no significant progress ,
this surprised some members of the Boston
orchestra considering the growing number of
available women graduates well educated in
music that did not pass the initial orchestra
Was there a gender bias?
In their route towards democratizing the selection
process, they had a lucky idea: it was thought that
since music appreciation is mainly listening and not
watching, if a blind selection process could be made, we
would eliminate this gender bias that could be causing
Thus the jury would not be able to know the
gender/identity of the candidates behind a blind
screen, and would decide purely on listening to the
music sound of them playing.
What do you think happened ?
EUREKA you got it: Women started to enter
orchestras like crazy first Boston then Chicago,
Philadelphia and the rest followed at the
beginning women entering share was around
30% and finally closer to 50% for new hires
A historical research study of this phenomena in eleven
Orchestras was done in 1999 and published in 2000 by Goldin
and Rouse (Harvard and Princeton respectively) Claudia
Goldin y Cecilia Rouse (Harvard and Princeton Universities)
The Results proved significant differences when
first exercises were behind a blind screen
“Among musicians who auditioned in both blind and non-blind auditions,
about 28.6 percent of female musicians and 20.2 percent of male musicians
advanced from the preliminary to the final round in blind auditions. When
preliminary audits were not blind, only 19.3 percent of the women advanced,
along with 22.5 percent of the men.
Using data from the audition records, the researchers found that blind
auditions increased the probability that a woman would advance from
preliminary rounds by 50 percent. The likelihood of a woman's ultimate
selection is increased several fold, although the competition is extremely
difficult and the chance of success still low”
Marilyn Marks Princeton weekly Bulletin
The Anecdote of the
"clickety-clack" of high heels
EUREKA I found the source, I had heard the anecdote but
was not sure of its veracity
Anecdote: In some instances if candidates were wearing high heels
they were asked to remove them because of their sound while
walking. Hence gender could be identified and anonymity
destroyed for first audits
Source: Florence Nelson American Federation of Musicians. Flute
and piccolo player at major orchestras “I remember being told in
the 1980s to remove my shoes while walking to center stage behind
a screen, so the judges would not hear the "clickety-clack" of a
woman's high heels.” from Marilyn Marks
Mary Astrop the first woman Conductor
of a major Orchestra. Maestro of
Baltimore orchestra 2005
It is important to see how more women are Directing orchestras.
“The 50-year-old Alsop is not the first woman to conduct a major orchestra.
Before her were Nadia Boulanger and Antonia Brico in the 1930s; Sarah
Caldwell, Iona Brown, and Jane Glover in the 1970s; and beginning in the
1980s Sian Edwards. But on September 28, when she gives the downbeat for
John Adams' Fearful Symmetries, she will inaugurate her first season as the
first woman ever appointed music director of a major American orchestra. In
June 2005. from Dale Keiger Johns Hopkins magazine
Her appointment to the role of maestro in one of the world's top
orchestras means she has broken through what has traditionally been a male
preserve. But it has not been without opposition from some of those who will be
working under her.
When it became clear she was going to be appointed, a statement from the
musicians said a "vast majority" wanted the search to continue. “
From Oliver Conway BBC
The Venezuelan Natalia Luis- Bassa was named July
2009 professor of Orchestra Direction of the prestigious
Royal College of Music in London.
She is 42 and comes form Maestro José Antonio Abreu’s
School of young musicians who has revolutionized
massive musical education producing some of the best
Conductors of the world. Photo From facebook Her Blog
The American Cuban born Tania León one of today's
most relevant music figure. She is a composer and
Most recently directed Dance Brazil, 2009 Chicago Sinfonietta,
2008, Purchase Symphony Orchestra, 2008 Orquesta Sinfonica de
Asturias, Spain. 2006 Fargo-Moorhead Symphony, ND, 2005
"Samarkand". Multi media production with Wole Soyinka. Shaw
Center for the Performing Arts, Baton Rouge, LA., 2005 "Shangri
La". Opera by Susie Ibarra,
Her honors include the New York Governor’s Lifetime Achievement
Award, Honorary Doctorate degrees from Colgate University, Oberlin
and Purchase College. In 2007, The New York City Council presented
a Proclamation to Ms. León for her personal achievements.
León has been Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University, Visiting
Professor at Yale University, the University of Michigan, the
University of Kansas, Purchase College and the Musikschule in
Hamburg. In 2000 she was named the Claire and Leonard Tow
Professor in Music at Brooklyn College, and Distinguished Professor
of the City University of New York since 2006. Her site
The Community Women’s Orchestra now in its
25th season, is an all volunteer, all female orchestra.
The orchestra provides a unique opportunity for
women musicians to play seldom-performed works
by women musicians while giving Bay Area
audiences a rare opportunity to attend performances
of those works.
Spanish Conductor Inma Shara one
of the youngest of the World.
From her site
Innovation in Music equality=
ALL these orchestras in the 70s where innovating doing
things differently “out of the box“ from what was the usual
way. They had a lucky idea that worked, with the blind
screen auditions they changed the World of Orchestras
towards equality. The World should learn from them
Orchestrating impartiality gives women the opportunity to
succeed and this can happen n most fields .
Help orchestrate impartiality in your countries, your
markets, your institutions, your lives and not just in music,
help construct those blind screen equivalents that will bring
discrimination and bias barriers down
My definition: To be equal.
But we men and women are not equal. However when we
talk about women equality we mean equal rights and
equal opportunities to develop our projects, our professional
careers our personal lives and our dreams without
additional barriers than those encountered by men.
Thesaurus Definition similarity, balance; egalitarianism
Synonyms: adequation, civil rights, commensurateness, coordination,
correspondence, equal opportunity, equitability, equilibrium, equipoise,
equivalence, evenness, fair play, fair practice, fair shake, fairness, homology,
identity, impartiality, isonomy, likeness, par, parallelism, parity, sameness,
My definition : To be impartial, not being biased.
Eliminating the barriers whether conscious or
unconscious, the cultural, economic, image
barriers as well
Thesaurus Definition evenhandedness
Synonyms equality, fairness, justice,
In our story of orchestrating impartiality, Music
can be judged blindly and that helped
Who can be impartial?
We all can and must, we just have to make
an extra effort and realize when our
stereotypes start working subconsciously
in order to stop them
Everyone, we All, Yes we can
Where can musicians come from?
Everywhere, The World, they are Global
Universal men and women
Music students Dah Kyung Kim Alondra de la Parra Founder of the Philharmonic
USA California Orchestra of the Americas . Mexican
How orchestras impartiality was created?
By means of implanting anonymity for the first rounds
of the audition process. Anonymity has proven a
fundamental rule to abolish discrimination. The blind
screen provided for the needed anonymity and resulted
in a spectacular 30-40% of women new entrees
Where did women enter ?
Everywhere in most American
orchestras, achieving in the 90s (20
years) after the innovative change was
originated by the lucky idea 40% of
share , 4 in 10 in most of them
1 2 3 4
ideas make the World go-around
And are a great help at Women's International Day
Everybody needs ideas and innovation specially on women's
discrimination. Help build impartiality lets all orchestrate
impartiality in our working and living space. Be creative and
innovative give it some thought.
From very many ideas, big ideas surface out of the box they are
usually disruptive enough to change the World.
and you ?
Why not send your
to the World, sharing one of your
women impartiality ideas with all.
We would all thank you for it
In the age where music is everywhere and relevant, the
age of collective collaboration, wikis, open innovation,
social networks, be part of the Wisdom of Crowds & the
Come and share your ideas on impartiality in
Send the World impartiality ideas
you will love them too
I impartiality and you?
Happy women’s day to you
of the world and to
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ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas,
ideas, ideas, ideas, ideas,
Thank you for your ideas, ideas , ideas, ideas,
attention and ideas ideas