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Illustration for article titled Marin Alsop to be the first female conductor at The Last Night of the Proms!

“We are inordinately proud of the equality we think we’ve achieved. And then you look around the world and realise that women really don’t have the kind of equality we might reasonably hope for in this day and age.”

“I assumed it would change, but 20, 30 years on I look around and it’s sort of the same number: just a handful of us. It does surprise me that we’re in 2013 and there are still firsts for women,” she says. “And I think it becomes the responsibility of people like me, who have these opportunities, to try to get more women seen in these roles so it becomes not just about Marin Alsop." To this end she has launched a highly successful fellowship for young female conductors.

“Think about it: how many truly great leaders, regardless of gender, do you come across in your lifetime?” Alsop asks. “Probably only a handful, right? And if only 10% of the people leading in any sphere are going to be female, what is that, one great female leader you’re going to encounter? And what if that one female messes up? The pressures are extraordinary!” She gives a weary chuckle. “And of course, if you’re a woman, you not only to be perfect but to look perfect too. So you have to have it all, to do it all, to be perfect and look gorgeous while you do it. Those are things that require superhuman strengths.”


Just look at this magnificent HBIC. Marin Alsop is amazing and my absolute favourite conductor. She is such an inspiration and I saw her conduct one of my favourite pieces ever, Holst's Planet suite, at the Royal Festival Hall in London. I cried and had ALL THE FEELINGS. I still have her autograph encouraging me to stick with music and not to give up. I really felt like I was letting her down when I did not pursue conducting although it had mostly been a dream anyway. It took a few years but after my move last month I was able to start playing the piano again and I had to think of her.

This is very personal as it was one of my fantasies to conduct at the Last Night. I have a lot of feelings about this - all of them happy. She is super hard-working and very deserving and will kick serious ass.



(I originally posted this on my kinja a few days ago but now that I can post to GT, I wanted to share this because I think that this is super-duper awesome news. Thanks for having me here <3)

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