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 celebration. 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 translation. William Osborne email@example.com "THE VIENNA PHILHARMONIKER ANNOUNCES:" "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."