Six women conductors picked for development programme

The Dallas Opera (TDO) has announced the six participants in this year’s Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Women Conductors (HIWC). Running from 28 October – 11 November, its mission is to “provide training and career support for distinctively talented women conductors on the cusp of major international careers”.

This year’s conductors are Sonia Ben-Santamaria (France), Priscila Bomfim (Brazil), Sarah Penicka-Smith (Australia), Audrey Saint-Gil (France/US), Maria Sensi Sellner (US) and Emily Senturia (US).

Commented Bomfim: “At this point in my career I could not receive better news than the opportunity to participate HIWC at TDO, supporting the women who have accepted the challenges of conducting in the opera world.”

TDO general director and CEO Ian Derrer added: “This proven programme – by recognising the contributions of exceptionally talented women in classical music – helps focus vision for conductors, music directors and administrators by showcasing their rich array of skills … recognition and vision lead directly to opportunity.”

This year’s conductors will benefit from masterclasses with TDO music director Emmanuel Villaume, TDO guest conductor Nicole Paiement and Italian conductor Carlo Montanaro. The programme includes career advancement seminars, industry discussions and the chance to conduct the TDO Orchestra in a public concert.

The programme, first run in 2015, is financially backed by the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation, the Andrew W Mellon Foundation and Baker Botts LLP. It also is the beneficiary of an OPERA America Innovation Grant.