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Classical Notes: November 2, 2006 Archive

We know about Marin Alsop, but....

Posted at 5:39 PM on November 2, 2006 by Don Lee

Reporter/producer Karl Gehrke is at work on a profile of Sarah Hatsuko Hicks, the first woman to hold a position on the Minnesota Orchestra's conducting staff. She began her job as assistant conductor in September and leads her first concert next week.

He's had a hard time digging up some context that I, his editor, have asked for: When was the very first woman conductor hired full-time by a major American orchestra? The American Symphony Orchestra League hasn't been able to come up with a date. We've located a couple of sources that say it was sometime in the 1980s. But who exactly was that woman and when did she become an assistant or associate conductor? If you know, we'd love to hear about it.