documentary / classic / conductor
Marin Alsop was appointed music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2007 and became the first woman to serve as music director of a major orchestra. When she was young, she dreamed of becoming a conductor after seeing one of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts. Later, she actually became a beloved student of Bernstein. However, she had to struggle to break the glass ceiling of the classical music circles regardless of her talent. She was the first woman to serve as the chief conductor at the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, the first female artistic director of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the first female conductor at the BBC Proms.
For a long time, classical orchestra was regarded as the exclusive property of white men. Moving between Baltimore, Vienna, São Paulo, and London, Bernadette Wegenstein’s The Conductor portrays Alsop’s past and present that she is in the vanguard of many women who want to become a conductor. It is not only a personal story of struggles and victory but advice to millions of people in the classical music field as well as marching flags. Many students standing on the podium with batons at the end of the film seem to show the more diverse and more colorful future of classical music. [Djuna]
Bernadette Wegenstein is an Austrian-born documentary filmmaker and academic living in the United States. Her work brings together her feminist thought and her interest in human-centric storytelling. She is currently a professor of media studies at The Johns Hopkins University.
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