At 29 years old, Tiffany Vong continues to blaze a trail in classical music. music helping to overcome the gender gap in leadership.

According to recent figures from the Royal Philharmonic Society, there are currently only five female conductors with titled roles among the several hundred conductors on the staff of professional British orchestras.

Emma Warren, a postgraduate student on the Royal Academy of Music London’s choral conducting course, wrote in The Guardian about being the only female student, saying that all her teachers had been men.

She described the gender-balanced profession portrayed by Cate Blanchet in the Bafta-winning movie Tár as a “utopian fantasy”.

Herald of Scotland:

Ms Vong, who lives in Anniesland in Glasgow, studied at Oxford University, where she says the gender divide in directing was apparent.

“In the chapel choirs, the music is conducted by a student, an organ scholar or the music director. Within the organ scholars, when I was there, there were mainly male organists, so it was mainly male organists who They directed the music.” chorus as a result.

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“Then I could see that slight division, even at that scenery in my bachelor’s

“There’s still a lot of work to be done to re-address that balance. I really don’t have the answers.”

Herald of Scotland:

“I think the more representation we get on the podium, the more it will affect future generations and hopefully inspire more female directors to take on the roles.

“I think it starts at the top. We need more women running things.”

at the Royal Conservatory of Scotland there are currently five students in the graduate directing program and only one is a woman.

However, it administers a scholarship for directors “on the cusp” of their careers and the current recipient is a woman, Emilie Godden.

Past appointments include Teresa Riveiro Böhm, Associate Conductor of the Welsh National Opera and Associate Conductor of the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra.

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Ms. Vong says there is cause for optimism. She has been appointed a Women’s Conducting Fellow at the Scottish National Youth Choir, where she will work to encourage women to become choral directors.

“I feel like it’s changing,” he said.

“There are more girls taking up the organ, and therefore that path to being a director is a little easier.”

Herald of Scotland:

His path to leadership began at school. After living in Hong Kong, her family returned to Scotland and she enrolled at Glenalmond College in Perthshire, a privately run boarding school.

“The steering thing just happened on the side,” she says.

“As an organist, you’re expected to do a little bit of conducting, so I got into that.” [at school]. It’s one of those things I had to learn on the job.

She did a bit more at Oxford University, where she studied music and was also an organ scholar, accompanying chapel services.

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When she returned to Glasgow to focus on acting, completing a postgraduate degree at the Conservatoire, she began accompanying choirs and applied for a couple of conducting jobs.

He now conducts a number of choirs, including the Glasgow University Choral Society, the Kelvin Choir in Bearsden and a school choir in Glasgow city centre, as well as teaching and giving organ recitals.

Herald of Scotland:

“Most people start learning an instrument first at a high level and then the direction just grows from there,” she says.

“To start with, you have to have a very deep understanding of music and that comes from being able to play at a very high level.

“Choral conducting is something I’m used to, I haven’t done a lot of conducting, but it’s something I might be interested in pursuing in the future.”

She is currently busy rehearsing Fauré’s Requiem for a performance in a couple of weeks.

She said: “It’s a beautiful work full of harmonic richness and melodic invention, and also some lovely solos for baritone and soprano.”

Herald of Scotland:

She says that Nicola Benedetti has been “absolutely brilliant” in helping to encourage more children to play an instrument and develop a love of music.

“The cuts in funding that we are seeing in letters and the music are just tragic,” said Ms. Vong.

“I completely agree with everything you say about education in schools.

“It has to start when you’re very young and music should be available to everyone, regardless of your financial situation.”

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