Vienna Philharmonic's Homogenous Orchestra Scrutinized Again

Mar 9, 2011

"Vienna Philharmonic
Must Answer for Exclusion"

Joshua Kosman
San Francisco Chronicle
February 20, 2011

The homogeneity of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has been scrutinized over the years. It was an all male ensemble until 1997 when it accepted its first female musician. (It now has four.) In 2005, the first woman stepped on the podium, and in 2001, the Vienna Philharmonic hired an Austrian musician of Asian descent, the first known break from its all-white organization.

On the occasion of a recent performance in San Francisco, Joshua Kosman of the San Francisco Chronicle addressed this issue in his article "Vienna Philharmonic Must Answer for Exclusion." He comments: "American music lovers ought to be having a real debate about just what it means for an artistic edifice so grand and arresting to be built on a foundation of more-or-less explicit sexual and racial discrimination."

Photo: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra Web site