Albany Symphony Welcomes Mei-Ann Chen as Guest Conductor

Mei-Ann Chen

7:30 pm • Saturday, November 22nd 2014
Palace Theater • Albany, NY

Over the past several years, the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s November concert has been an opportunity for the orchestra to host a guest conductor. This week, the Albany Symphony Orchestra welcomes Mei-Ann Chen to the podium. While we don’t mean to make this yet another post about women in music, it is hard not to take note.

According to the League of American Orchestras (Nov 2013), of the 103 major symphonies in the United States only 12 have female conductors. Out of the top 27 of these orchestras, there is only one (1) female conductor … Marin Alsop of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.*

While we acknowledge that women are gaining ground as principal and section players throughout our largest professional orchestras and that the opportunities for conductors—-male and female—are not large in number to begin with, challenges for women to gain the spot on the podium remain. Some rooted in issues, as noted in an Orchestra League’s session description for women conductors that was led by JoAnn Falletta, including “the areas of artistic expression and artistic leadership as well as seemingly minor factors –from podium attire, to body language, to one’s tone of voice –that can be read differently, especially when women take the podium.”

Regardless, Mei-Ann Chen seems to take all this in stride. Chen is a Taiwanese American conductor who is best known as the Music Director of the Memphis Symphony, since 2010, and of the Chicago Sinfonietta since 2011. She has lead both orchestras with energy, enthusiasm and high-level artistic leadership and music-making for players and audiences alike. When questioned about the challenges of women conductors and being a women in music for the Huffington Post’s Glass Ceiling, Chen responds simply acknowledging the challenge of breaking through as a conductor without addressing the gender imbalance:

“Young conductors have a very hard time getting in the door of the professional musical network. If you are inexperienced, you are blocked until you have a way in.”

So with that as a segue, let’s welcome Mei-Ann Chen in her debut with the Albany Symphony Orchestra as she leads the orchestra in a concert celebrating German composers Mendelssohn and Beethoven with an additional nod to Argentina with a work by Osvaldo Golijov.

    • Osvaldo GolijovLast Round
    • Felix Mendelssohn — Violin Concerto
    • Ludwig van Beethoven — Symphony No. 6, Pastorale

Young violinist Caroline Goulding also makes her debut with the Albany Symphony as the featured soloist in the performance of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.

Hope you get to go and enjoy!

* source:  League of American Orchestra’s Knowledge Center

Upcoming Events

  • WMHT “No Ticket Required”: New Century Saxophone Quartet performs Bach
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy (NY)
    Friday, November 21st 2014 at 1:00 pm

  • The Met’s “Live in HD”: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Regal Crossgates Stadium 18, Albany, NY
    Saturday, November 22nd 2014 at 12:55 pm

  • The Met’s “Live in HD”: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Time & Space Limited*, Hudson, NY
    Saturday, November 22nd 2014 at 12:55 pm

  • The Met’s “Live in HD”: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Bardavon, Poughkeepsie, NY
    Saturday, November 22nd 2014 at 1:00 pm

  • The Met’s “Live in HD”: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Lake Placid Center for the Arts, Lake Placid, NY
    Saturday, November 22nd 2014 at 1:00 pm

  • ETHEL: “Grace” with Morricone, Chiles, Zarvos, Mombelli
  • Hudson Opera House, Hudson, NY
    Saturday, November 22nd 2014 at 7:00 pm

  • Albany Symphony Orchestra with Mei-Ann Chen: Golijov, Mendelssohn, Beethoven
  • Palace Theater, Albany, NY
    Saturday, November 22nd 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • Organist Gail Archer
  • St. Joseph’s Church, Schenectady, NY
    Sunday, November 23rd 2014 at 3:00 pm

  • “WMHT Live!”: American String Quartet / Haydn, Mendelssohn & Brahms
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy (NY)
    Sunday, November 23rd 2014 at 6:00 pm

  • The Met’s “Live in HD”: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Regal Crossgates Stadium 18, Albany, NY
    Wednesday, November 26th 2014 at 6:30 pm

  • WMHT “No Ticket Required”: Berkshire Bach Socity performs Bach
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy (NY)
    Friday, November 28th 2014 at 1:00 pm

  • The Met’s “Live in HD”: Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia
  • Time & Space Limited*, Hudson, NY
    Saturday, November 29th 2014 at 12:55 pm

  • Dorian Wind Quintet and Pianist Spencer Myer: Bach, Hoiby, Perle, Poulenc
  • Kiggins Hall, Emma Willard School, Troy, NY
    Saturday, November 29th 2014 at 7:30 pm

  • Windham Festival Chamber Orchestra
  • Doctorow Center for the Arts, Catskill Mountain Foundation, Hunter, NY
    Saturday, November 29th 2014 at 8:00 pm

  • “WMHT Live!”: Miró Quartet / An All-Beethoven program
  • WMHT-FM (Radio Broadcasts), Troy (NY)
    Sunday, November 30th 2014 at 6:00 pm