n Gender and Behaviour - Women conductors : a study of an Italian major symphony orchestra

Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1596-9231



The investigation sought the opinion of members of Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI on a performance directed by a woman. The assumption was that not being used to be directed by a woman would affect their opinion on the individual's ability and on all women conductors, i.e. if few women are invited to be guest conductors, it must mean that there are few women conductors who are good enough. A survey of 58 musicians interviewed using Alceste 4.6 statistical program revealed that musicians have stereotypes as regards women conductors and their ability to lead an orchestra. Such stereotypes are due to the small number of women who have been conducting. However, findings indicate that orchestras everywhere have much to gain from women's participation in terms of both visibility and opportunities to attract funding and sponsorships. Implications of these findings for orchestra management strategy and future investigation are also discussed.

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