Friday, May 13, 2022

concert review: New Millennium Chamber Orchestra

I put this concert down to review because the program, including three works by women, looked so interesting. Small orchestras can afford to do this kind of offbeat thinking. It was a nicely satisfying event.

I realized, as I sat leafing through the program book pre-concert, that this one presented an unusual reviewing challenge. The music director/conductor is a recently-hatched trans woman, but the program in some places used the new name, in some places the deadname, and in some both together. I needed a policy clarification here.

So, seizing a chance at intermission, I went up to where the conductor was on the podium. "Maestra," I said,* "I wanted to introduce myself," and did so as the reviewer and we shook hands. Then I said, "I do have one question. The program book has left me uncertain what name I should call you by in the review." She said to use the new one and we arranged to get me a copy of a new photo, which you'll see at the head of the review.

I gave the whole background to my editors with the review, asking them to follow my practice of using the new name only, without further ado, and they did so. So no problem here.

*And here I want to give due credit to Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, the author and Italian-opera expert, who many decades ago answered my innocent question, "What's the feminine for maestro?" I haven't forgotten the answer.

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