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More Women Conductors Needed

September 23, 2020

Conductor Gemma New leads the TSO in 2019.

Above: Conductor Gemma New leads the TSO in March 2019.


Tapestry Opera has invited the TSO to be its Orchestral Partner in an initiative aimed at ending the gender imbalance in conducting roles. The TSO joins Tapestry Opera and Opera Victoria, along with a coalition of Canadian companies, in championing the next generation of conductors and addressing the historic gender imbalance in classical music.

Tapestry Opera, Canada’s leading producer of contemporary opera, is launching a groundbreaking opportunity called Women in Musical Leadershipa full-time, multi-year fellowship to advance six talented female-identifying music directors and conductors, in order to deepen the talent pool of musical leadership in Canada. 

There are no female music directors currently in the top 10 Canadian opera companies, and there is only one female-identifying music director or assistant conductor in the top 12 Canadian symphony orchestras who was born and trained in Canada. In the 2018/19 season only 6.2% of conductors in the largest six Canadian opera companies were women.

The Women in Musical Leadership program is supported by The Azrieli Foundation, who is also a supporter of the TSO.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Tapestry Opera on this important and urgent program. I believe that this initiative will have an impact on the national music landscape by providing mentorship and opportunities for women conductors,” said Gustavo Gimeno, Music Director of the TSO.

Learn more about the Women in Musical Leadership initiative.

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