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Breakthrough in Vienna


Staatsoper Taps Woman Concertmaster

By Susan Elliott
Musical America

Thursday, May 8, 2008 may go down in history as a major milestone in classical music. The Wiener Staatsoper, most of whose orchestra members comprise the Vienna Philharmonic, appointed a woman as its concertmaster. Albena Danailova, of Sofia, takes first chair in September. According to custom, if all goes well for two years, she will then move into the position permanently.

Her appointment is significant for two reasons: One, she is the first woman to have the post at the Staatsoper, and two, in her new job she will oversee a core of instrumentalists – the Vienna Philharmonic – that has long deemed women musicians to be inferior to men.

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