Purpose and creation of the Association
On 6/7 March 2000, an unusual event took place in Brussels. An international conference bringing together twenty women conductors representing thirteen mostly european countries. It was a “premiere” in classical music.
The idea had been launched by Belgian, Polish-born conductor Zofia Wislocka, who wished to share her professional experience with fellow female conductors,
During this first meeting the participants discussed the specific problems of their job and exchanged experiences, but in the first place they talked about the future of women in this musical field.
Orchestra direction is still widely considered as « a man’s job ».
Questions were flying around : “Why are there still so few women conductors – is the situation the same everywhere – which obstacles are still to be cleared – what can be done to help the next generation ?
They decided to develop their cooperation and planned the creation of a worldwide organization of Women Conductors.
A year later, “Femmes Maestros” was officially presented to press and musical world. Participating in the new association were :
Elke Mascha Blankenburg (Germany), Janet Canetty-Clarke (Great Britain), Nicoletta Conti (Italy), Alicia Farace (Argentine), Sabine Haenebalcke (Belgium), Annick Minck (France), Silvia Sanz Torre (Spain), Zofia Wislocka (Belgium-Poland).
Mrs Wislocka was elected president.
The goal of this worldwide organization is to promote women conductors and to give them the possibility to access the professional circuit by setting up original musical events at a high level.