France Launches Effort to Right Classical Music's Gender Imbalance
Very few women occupy leadership positions in the world of classical music. In fact, only about six percent of professional classical music orchestras are headed by women.
Now, in France, there is an effort to increase the number of women leading orchestras. It is an international competition in Paris called La Maestra. The event gives women conductors a chance to show off their skills.
Over 200 women -- from Asia, Europe and the Americas -- are taking part in the competition. The winner will be announced later this month.
Laurent Bayle is director of the Paris Philharmonic. He says the winner and those who place highly will get two years of intensive mentoring and other support.
Many observers say there is a need for that kind of support. Women head nearly 40 percent of orchestras in Belgium, but only three percent of French orchestras have female conductors. In the United States, only eight percent of orchestra conductors are women.
The Paris Philharmonic, known in French as the Philharmonie de Paris, is doing better. About 30 percent of its visiting conductors this season are women, an increase from a few years ago.
A mix of reasons, from historical to cultural, are said to be responsible for women's lack of advancement in the classical music field. Bayle noted that in France, for example, the country's egalitarian system disapproves of actions designed mainly to help women and minority groups.
Claire Gilbault is one of France's few female conductors. She heads the Paris Mozart Orchestra, which helped to organize the competition. She told VOA that men head all major musical organizations and like to share power among themselves.
La Maestra changes that. Its jury has an equal number of men and women and is led by a female conductor.
But for this all-women competition, performance is the most important criteria.
Twenty-nine-year-old Sara Caneva from Italy was the first candidate to perform. She noted that the coronavirus pandemic has made the competition more difficult.
"It's the first, it's after a long time without conducting because of the lockdown, she said.
Holly Hyun Choe from the United States felt better about her performance. She currently works as a conductor in Switzerland.
"Of course, that has to come with a lot of luck and a lot of hard work, and your own talent."
The Philharmonic's Bayle said the goal of the event is to get other European orchestras to invite these conductors to perform.
I'm Susan Shand.
1.luck n. 运气
Jean was extremely superstitious and believed the colour green brought bad luck.
2.orchestra n. 管弦乐队
The orchestra gave its first performance on Whit Monday.
At the conductor's whistle the engine-driver starts his locomotive-engine.
That study looked at the performance of 18 surgeons.
5.The event gives women conductors a chance to show off their skills.
show off 展示；卖弄
He had been showing off for her at the poker table.
Body builders shave their chests to show off their muscles.
6.Over 200 women -- from Asia, Europe and the Americas -- are taking part in the competition.
take part in 参与；参加
They returned to take part in the season's opening game.
You don't need strength to take part in this sport.
在古典音乐界，很少有女性占据领导地位 。事实上，只有大约6%的专业古典音乐乐团是由女性领导的 。
如今，法国正在努力增加女性领导的乐团的数量 。这是一项在巴黎举行的国际性比赛，叫做“La Maestra” 。这次活动给女指挥家们提供了一个展示技巧的机会 。
来自亚洲、欧洲和美洲的200多名女性参加了比赛 。优胜者将于本月晚些时候公布 。
劳伦特·贝勒(Laurent Bayle)是巴黎爱乐乐团的总监 。他表示，获胜者和那些排名高的人将得到两年的集中指导和其他方面的支持 。
许多观察人士指出，这些参赛者需要这种支持 。在比利时，有近40%的管弦乐团是由女性指挥的，而在法国管弦乐队中，只有3%的乐团是由女性指挥的 。在美国，只有8%的管弦乐团指挥是女性 。
巴黎爱乐乐团(Philharmonie de Paris)在这一方面表现更佳 。本季到访的指挥家中，大约有30%是女性，较几年前有所增加 。
女性在古典音乐领域中缺乏进步是由历史到文化等多种原因造成的 。贝勒指出，以法国为例，该国的平等主义制度不赞成旨在帮助妇女和少数群体的行动 。
克莱尔·吉尔博（Claire Gilbault）是法国为数不多的女指挥家之一 。她领导的巴黎莫扎特管弦乐团帮助组织了这次比赛 。她对美国之音表示，男性领导着所有大型的音乐团体，并且喜欢同性之间分享权力 。
“La Maestra”比赛改变了这一点 。这场比赛的陪审团男女人数相同，由一名女指挥领导 。
来自意大利的29岁的萨拉·卡内瓦是第一个表演的候选人 。她指出，冠状病毒大流行导致这场赛事举办难度加大 。
来自美国的霍利（Holly Hyun Choe）对自己的表现自信多了 。她目前在瑞士担任指挥 。