Conductors and Misconductors
Conductors and Misconductors

Conductors and Misconductors

The classical music world seems more wretched than ever. In his vulgar piece on conductors’ sexuality and abuse of power, Norman Lebrecht suggests that »sex is one of the perks of conducting«, further elaborating on the »powerful relation of baton and penis«. The author, a knowledgeable observer of the business, takes it for granted that virility is required to conduct an orchestra, and implies that a conductor who doesn’t assault women leads a »rather boring life«. Mr Lebrecht, even if you cannot imagine it: Ill behaviour of conductors is not exactly a result of gender inequality, nor is it likely to improve as soon as more women enter the podium. Quite the contrary, it is an issue of deep-rooted misogyny and contempt—fueled by opinions like yours. It is about time, as Barbara Hannigan has aptly claimed, to ditch the whole outdated maestro attitude altogether. Conductors are musicians, nothing more and nothing less, and we should look upon them as partners at eye level rather than rulers of the orchestra.

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