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Women in NZ Orchestras At the Turn of The Twentieth Century

Women in NZ Orchestras At the Turn of The Twentieth Century

Sorry this event has been and gone

When:

  • Wed 1 May ’19, 12:10pm – 1:00pm

Where:

Te Ahumairangi Ground Floor, National Library, cnr Molesworth & Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington

Restrictions:

All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Free Admission

Welcome to NZ Music Month at the Library.

To open New Zealand Music Month 2019 join Inge van Rij as she explores the position of women in New Zealand’s early orchestral history — making visible the experiences of women whose presence on the public stage has long been overlooked.

Women in New Zealand's early orchestral history.
In attempting to bar women from the orchestra of the 1906 New Zealand International Exhibition in Christchurch, one exhibition official stated:

"The services of ladies are not as satisfactory in this capacity as those of men. The Committee state that they are less amenable to discipline and less reliable in their attention to work."

In fact, while some European orchestras continued to openly discriminate against women as late as the 1990s, women had participated in and even led orchestras in New Zealand well before 1906.

By treating the orchestra as a social and cultural phenomenon rather than simply a compositional abstraction, this talk will explore the paradoxical position of women in New Zealand’s early orchestral history.

Focusing on two New Zealand exhibition orchestras (from 1889 and 1906), and contextualising them in relation to the women’s suffrage movement and representations of Māori culture, this talk aims to render visible the experiences of women whose presence on the public stage has long been overlooked.

About the speaker:
Inge van Rij is an Associate Professor of Musicology at Victoria University of Wellington, specialising in nineteenth-century European art music.

Her publications include books for Cambridge University Press on the songs of Brahms and the orchestral music of Berlioz, and she is currently commencing work on a third book project on women in orchestras in the nineteenth century, funded by a Marsden Grant from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

Image: Photomontage of members of the New Zealand International Exhibition Orchestra 1906-1907 with their instruments. Photograph taken by Hemus Sarony, Christchurch. Ref: Eph-C-MUSIC-1907-01-inside. Alexander Turnbull Library.

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