Music and mothering

Many musicians were shocked and disappointed to read the recent comments of the new Oslo Philharmonic conductor, Vasily Petrenko, about women conductors. When asked why he thought there were so few, Petrenko replied that men “often have less sexual energy and can focus more on the music. A sweet girl on the podium can make one’s thoughts drift towards something else.”

The tedious assumption that men are unable to control their impulses is easily disproved, and as for “sweet girl”, well, I won’t even dignify that one with a response. What I disliked a great deal more, however, was his next comment about women musicians with children: “When women get a family,” Petrenko opines, “it becomes difficult to be as dedicated as the branch demands.”

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