Conductor Mariss Jansons today receives the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Gold Medal at London’s Barbican Centre. The Latvian conductor will become the 104th recipient of the medal. Jansons is currently chief conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor emeritus of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Classical Music magazine describes how, in an interview for The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett asked Jansons how he felt about ‘the biggest change in the conducting scene’ – the increase in female conductors over Jansons’s career.
“Hmm, well. Well I don’t want to give offence,” said Jansons, “and I am not against it, that would be very wrong. I understand the world has changed, and there is now no profession that can be confined to this or that gender. It’s a question of what one is used to. I grew up in a different world, and for me seeing a woman on the podium… well, let’s just say it’s not my cup of tea.”
Is it a problem that someone with such attitudes is receiving one of classical music’s most prestigious awards? And what does this say about the classical music world? Continue reading “‘Women conductors are not my cup of tea’. Classical music’s gender inequality problem” →
Here’s a round-up of my online activity over the past month or two.
Dr Kim Allen, from University of Leeds, and I are editing a special issue of the journal Sociological Research Online about ‘character education’ in the UK, following our successful one-day conference on this topic last year. We are also writing an article for this special issue on education policy networks, looking at how money and ideas from the US are flowing into the UK education system. One of the people involved in these policy networks is Sir Anthony Seldon, so Kim and I were very interested to read the report on ‘The Positive University’ that he co-authored last month. We wrote a blog post in response to this for WonkHE, which received a lot of attention on social media. Our article on character education policy networks will be out next spring.
At The 1752 Group, we’ve been very busy working on staff sexual misconduct in higher education, and I was interviewed about the unfolding sexual harassment scandals in Westminster, Hollywood and higher education for Turkish news channel TRT.
Finally, on a lighter note, my interview on class and classical music for the University of Melbourne’s sociology radio programme, Socbites, is on their October podcast, but listen to the rest of the podcast as well for discussions of how sociologists research class and music more widely.