ProMusica Chamber Orchestra's Exec. Director shares hopes for women in music

Janet Chen plays the flute during rehearsal.
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Janet Chen is the longest tenured -- and one of the youngest ever to earn the position of -- executive director of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.

She's been with the orchestra since 2006, after moving back to Ohio from Taiwan, where she played in the symphony. For Chen, being a female in this role means giving the orchestra balance.

"We still need to forge ahead. If we consider that conductors are male dominant, having a female Executive Director to balance that energy in terms of what makes an orchestra thrive, it's incredibly powerful," Chen said.

When it comes to conductors, according to the League of American Orchestras, 14.6 percent of U.S. orchestral conductors (including music directors, associate, assistant, resident, youth orchestra, pops and chorus conductors) are female. That percentage narrows if you only include music directors.

When it comes to U.S. orchestral music directors, in 2016 just 9.2 percent were female.

There is some positive news for women, since 1978, the percentage of women instrumentalists has gone from 38.2 percent to nearly 50 percent.

This narrowing of the gap is considered by researchers and other experts to be because of blind auditions being instated at orchestras in the 70's and 80's.

To learn more about ProMusica Chamber Orchestra click here.

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