Feb 27, 1997
IAWM Official Statement on VPO change of policy

The International Alliance for Women in Music congratulates the Vienna
Philharmonic for taking the first step on the road toward equal
opportunities for women musicians -- for all musicians -- by finally
granting membership status to Anna Lelkes, a harpist with the VPO who
is eligible for membership.  This is an historical occasion worthy of

However, the admittance of women into previously all-male orchestras
in just token numbers is well documented.  Without a specific plan
outlining how women will be admitted in the future through the
audition process, the VPO can expect further protests.  .

In 1996 VPO violinist Helmut Zehtner describes the all-male ideology
with his reference to the female harpists: "If you ask how noticeable
the gender is with these colleagues, my personal experience is that
this instrument is so far at the edge of the orchestra that it doesn't
disturb our emotional unity, the unity I would strongly feel, for
example, when the orchestra starts really cooking with a Mahler
Symphony.  There I sense very strongly and simply that only men sit
around me.  And as I said, I would not want to gamble with this
unity."  (Source: "Musikalishche Misogynie" broadcast by the West
German State Radio, February 13, 1996.)

The IAWM will continue with our mission of advocacy for ALL women
musicians, harpists and others, by educating and informing the general
public and the media of the VPO's policies until open auditions occur
and women are fairly represented in the orchestra.


VPO change of policy- translated by W. Osborne, in Vienna

A few minutes ago 4:00 pm Central European Time (February 27,1997) the
Vienna Philharmonic released the following statement to IAWM European
Liaison Regina Himmelbauer on their letterhead.  I provide a

William Osborne 


"Today's general assembly of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna
Philharmonic has decided, on the basis of agreements made with State
Secretary Wittmen, which secure for the future the special
capabilities of the Orchestra, that equal employment opportunity for
both genders exists.

"On this basis Frau Ilse Lelkes (Harp) will be employed as a member of
the organization of the Vienna Philharmonic, effective immediately.

"In addition the Vienna Philharmonic has decided, to no longer apply
for the subvention (subsidy) that they have received up until now."

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