The Violin Channel this week caught up with Dallas Symphony President and CEO, Ms Kim Noltemy – at the DSO’s inaugural 2019 ‘Women in Classical Music‘ Symposium, in Dallas.

The 4 day event, hosted at Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center from the 6th to the 9th of November, is currently featuring performances, talks, public keynote presentations and panel discussions on topics relevant to women in the classical music industry – including ‘Changing the Script of Women in Classical Music,’ ‘Pathways for Change’ and the ‘Practical Next Steps’.

Thank you, Kim. Where did this idea come from to host a gathering – specifically for women currently working in the classical music industry? 

“At the DSO, we are committing to elevating and supporting talented women as an integral part of our artistic and management vision.

In thinking about our broader strategic vision of women in classical music, we felt that we should offer artists, managers, students, administrators, conductors and composers a chance to connect and talk about important matters.

Programming, hiring, and commissioning are all ways we at the DSO can have an impact in the orchestral world, but so is hosting a Symposium so we can talk about the various concerns, recommendations, experiences to share a pathway to success for women who work in classical music in all types of positions”

Why do you feel it’s important to host this event – and what is it your team is hoping can be achieved?

“There really are no forums in our industry where we devote the conversation to women’s role and success in the industry.

We hope that we can build a stronger network of women in the business who can support each other and create opportunities for women now and for the next generation of women who have recently or soon to graduate and want a career in classical music”

What can we expect to see this week in Dallas?

“Important discussions on the challenges, past present and future.

A chance to build relationships and a network with inspiring colleagues.

A forum for female conductors, composers, volunteers, board members, managers, administrators, musicians, students and others to share ideas and build connections.

A opportunity to be the majority voice in the discussion”

What are the major inequalities you feel are present today in the classical music industry?

“The podium is still very male dominated, especially in the role of music director, which has a lot of influence on commissions, guest conductors/artists, and therefore, the industry as whole.

“Gender equity is lacking in many aspects of the management of orchestra.

Some orchestras have really focused on addressing this and many others have not”

Do you have other follow-up initiatives planned? And, what do you feel is required to keep this momentum progressing post the symposium?

“The Symposium will be an annual event.

We plan to keep in touch with the attendees so that we can share news and create a more formal network for the group.

The DSO continues our work in this area on a daily basis …”

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