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Classical Notes

Woman breaks white-tie-and-tails ceiling

Posted at 4:11 PM on April 15, 2009 by Alison Young

Italy has named its first female conductor of a major orchestra and she's an American. Well, to be exact, a Chinese-born American. Xian Zhang has been named the Music Director of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi. Maestra Zhang was a smash conducting the New York Philharmonic and recently smashed right through another glass ceiling in Germany as the first woman to conduct the Staatskapelle Dresden on their home turf. Her first gig with the 'Verdi,' when she won over the audience and musicians, was a massive concert of Strauss, Zemlinsky and Ravel. And she pulled it off seven months pregnant. Take that, maestros!