Despite the suffragist activities of the 1920s and the heightened pressures brought to bear on traditionally “male-only” institutions in American society during the past three decades, many vocations remain sanctuaries of male dominance. One such area is the classical music world; though, as Jan Bell Groh asserts in Evening the Score, inroads into this field have bene made, sometimes at great cost.
At the center of this work is a unique set of newsletters edited and published by Frédérique Petrides, one of America’s first and most influential female conductors. In Petride’s time, most women musicians were forced to ply their trade in all-female orchestras; through the thirty-seven issues of Women in Music published from 1935 to 1940, the achievements of these musicians were championed, and the prejudices, misconceptions, and deliberately discriminatory policies of many of their male counterparts were exposed and condemned.
Evening the Score is an ambitious endeavor that seeks not only to preserve these early documents and explain them within the context of the 1930s music industry but also to garner for Petrides the long-overdue praise to which she is entitled. It is at once a celebration and a source of inspiration.
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Groh's portrait of Petrides and her quest for acceptance of women in their arts will be welcome....
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