April 20, 2023

Female conductors to open and close BBC Proms for first time

For the first time in its history the BBC Proms season will be opened and closed by female conductors, as the festival moves towards gender equality.

The opening and closing nights will be led by Dalia Stasevska and Marin Alsop respectively, two of 10 women conducting concerts this year, three making their Proms debut.

“We’re moving in the right direction towards equitable representation,” said the Proms director, David Pickard, “but it’s a slow process.”

Meanwhile, 11 of this year’s 21 premieres are by female composers, including the Ukrainian Bohdana Frolyak and the master of the king’s music, Judith Weir, and a third of the festival’s 84 concerts include works by women. “This is hugely advanced on the figures of even 10 years ago. Is it enough? No, but the motivation to change these things is enormous,” said Pickard.

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