Documentary: Maestras taking the podium

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  2. Documentary: Maestras taking the podium

The conducting world is constantly developing: there are increasingly more opportunities for female conductors. Unfortunately the path to more equality isn't an easy one. Expectations of women are often different to expectations of men and the chief position within top orchestras are often still occupied by male conductors. What does it mean to be a maestra nowadays?

Eight percent

Less than eight percent of the world's professional symphony orchestras are led by a female chief conductor. What will it take to close this gap between male and female conductors?


If the men do, why shouldn't I?

Anja Bihlmaier


In the spotlight

In the series Maestras Taking the Podium, the main focus is on three conductors: Anja Bihlmaier, chief conductor of the Residentie Orchestra The Hague, Kristiina Poska, chief conductor of the Flanders Symphony Orchestra and Pascale van Os, assistant conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. Who are these conductors, how did they get where they are today, what is their opinion on current developments and vision of the future?


You want to be hired because you are good at your job, not because you are a woman.

Pascale van Os


Episode 1

In the first episode of Maestra's taking the podium, three female conductors are introduced: Anja Bihlmaier, Kristiina Poska and Pascale van Os. They believe this is the right time to put women in the spotlight, but why now?

Episode 2

We're going back in time, to the very first women who picked up the baton. We meet the pioneers in the field, but also the role models of today. How important are role models in the process of changing the stereotypical image of female conductors? And what are the real differences between maestros and maestras?


I think we have to understand that we are part of a historical development

Kristiina Poska

Episode 3

We see all kinds of initiatives world wide, contributing to more balance between male and female conductors. In this episode we travel to La Maestra in Paris, a competition and academy for female conductors from all over the world. Besides that, we also visit the master's program for orchestra conducting and we meet up with the artistic director of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. What else can be done to stimulate the developments?

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