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  • Chris Anderson

Top Female Conductors

It cannot be denied that many of the famous conductors are male. However, there are many talented female conductors who have made a name for themselves in the classical music industry. Here are some of the most famous:

Marin Alsop - Marin Alsop is an American conductor who is currently the chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. She was born in New York City in 1956. She began studying the piano at the age of two and later went on to study violin at the Juilliard School. Alsop made history in 2007 when she became the first woman to lead a major American orchestra as the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. She has since conducted many of the world's top orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic.


Marin Alsop - Photo from Twitter

Simone Young - Simone Young, born in 1961, is an Australian conductor who has led many major orchestras around the world, including the Hamburg State Opera and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. She is known for her interpretation of German and Austrian music. She began studying the piano at the age of six and later went on to study conducting in Hamburg, Germany. Young made her conducting debut in 1985 and has since become known for her interpretation of German and Austrian music. She has led many of the world's top orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic.


Simone Young - Photo by Bertold Fabricus (Wikipedia)

Susanna Mälkki - Susanna Mälkki was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1969. She has worked with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra. She began studying the cello at the age of five and later went on to study conducting in Helsinki and Paris. Mälkki made her conducting debut in 1999 and has since worked with many of the world's top orchestras, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She was named the principal guest conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London in 2017.


Susanna Mälkki - Photo from Wikipedia

JoAnn Falletta - JoAnn Falletta is an American conductor and was born in New York City in 1954. She began studying guitar at the age of seven and later went on to study conducting at the Juilliard School. Falletta made her conducting debut in 1981 and has since become one of the most recorded conductors in the world. She has led many orchestras, including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra (Ireland). She is currently the music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.


JoAnn Falletta - Photo by David Adam Beloff (Wikipedia)

Xian Zhang - Born in Dandong, China in 1973, Xian Zhang is a Chinese conductor who has worked with many major orchestras around the world, including the New York Philharmonic and the London Symphony Orchestra. She began studying the piano at the age of three and later went on to study conducting at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Zhang made her conducting debut in 1998 and has since worked with many of the world's top orchestras, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. She was the first female conductor to lead the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.


Xian Zhang - Photo credit Fred Stucker

Emmanuelle Haïm - Emmanuelle Haïm was born in Paris, 1967. She specialises in Baroque music. She began studying the harpsichord at the age of seven and later went on to study conducting in Paris and at the Juilliard School. Haïm founded the ensemble Le Concert d'Astrée in 2000, which performs Baroque music on period instruments. She has since become one of the world's leading interpreters of Baroque music and has worked with many of the top opera companies and orchestras.


Emmanuelle Haim - Photo Wikipedia

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla - Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla is a Lithuanian conductor who was born in Vilnius in 1986. She began studying the piano at the age of five and later went on to study conducting in Graz, Austria. Gražinytė-Tyla made her conducting debut in 2013 and has since become one of the most exciting young conductors in the world. She was named the music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 2016, becoming the first female conductor to hold the position. She has also worked with many other orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She has also worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the San Francisco Symphony.


Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla - Photo Wikipedia


These are just a few examples of the many talented female conductors who are making a significant impact in the classical music world.


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