Out of the Shadows

Thursday, 10 March 2022

The Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship celebrates 20 years of helping women conductors with a global concert series

Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship (TACF)
The Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship (TACF) was founded in 2002 by conductor Marin Alsop (and named for the philanthropist Tomio Taki) to promote gender diversity in music and help other women follow in her own pioneering footsteps. TACF's mission is to mentor, support, and promote women conductors as they advance in their professional careers. To date 30 women have been supported and are working to ensure a more equitable future for classical music through their artistry and advocacy, and among them they hold 19 Music Director or chief conductor positions of orchestras around the world.

To celebrate TACF's 20th anniversary there is a series of concerts around the globe, with nine conductors who have been assisted by awards from TACF being featured in the series, seven of whom are the Music Directors of their respective orchestras, and one of whom is Music Director of two participating orchestras.  With support from a donor and to help support conductors and orchestras as they emerge from COVID related restriction, TACF is sponsoring a week of their 2022-23 seasons.

The TACF alumnae and orchestras participating in the 20th anniversary global concert series are:

  • Mei-Ann Chen (2007 Fellow), Chief Conductor of recreation - Grosses Orchester Graz at Styriarte and Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta
  • Marzena Diakun (2015 Associate Fellow), Music Director of Fundación Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid
  • Marta Gardolińska (2017 Associate Fellow), who will guest-conduct the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
  • Laura Jackson (2004 Fellow), Music Director of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Jeri Lynne Johnson (2005 Fellow), Founder and Artistic Director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
  • Carolyn Kuan (2003 Fellow), Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra
  • Holly Mathieson (2013 Honorable Mention), Music Director of Symphony Nova Scotia
  • Valentina Peleggi (2015 Fellow), Music Director of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra
  • Chloé van Soeterstède (2019 Fellow), Music Director of the Arch Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra.
They will be assisted during the TACF-sponsored weeks by 2022-24 Fellow Anna Duczmal-Mróz, 2022-24 Associate Fellows Irene Delgado-Jiménez and Marie Rosenmir, 2022-24 Award Recipients Kalena Bovell and Anna Sułkowska-Migoń, and 2017 TACF award winner Barbara Dragan. Three of these women – Laura Jackson, Jeri Lynne Johnson, and Anna Duczmal-Mróz – will also make their Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuts at this summer’s Ravinia Festival in a three-concert series titled Breaking Barriers: Women on the Podium alongside Ravinia Chief Conductor and TACF Founder Marin Alsop.

TACF’s global concert series also celebrates the contributions of women as performers and composers of classical music; thus, in each concert the TACF conductors will lead cellist Inbal Segev in a work composed for her by Anna Clyne.

Last night (8 March 2022) Sky Arts broadcast a fascinating documentary, The Conductor which looked at Marin Alsop's career and the challenges that she faced, shedding valuable light on the reasons for creating TACF (see Sky Arts website)

Full details from the TACF website

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