#WCW: Doriot Anthony Dwyer

This morning, perusing through Facebook, I saw this article posted by my college flute teacher and knew this would be my #WCW for this week.  My teacher, who is a woman and a principal flutist of a symphony, and I have talked about the percentages of woman principals in orchestras and how the numbers are nowhere near where they should be.  So, taking it back to 1952, and reading about the first woman to become a principal in a top 5 U.S. orchestra was such a treat.  Oh, and she’s a flutist!  Doriot Anthony Dwyer, a descendant of Susan B. Anthony, was the principal flutist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 38 years (1952-1990) and is considered the living legend of flute playing.  That’s a long way from where the critics started.  In 1970, Zubin Mehta, who was the music director of the Los Angeles Symphony, said, “I just don’t think women should be in an orchestra. They become men.” (New York Times)

Here’s to showing the world that music has no genders.  Thanks for pushing through that glass ceiling and may your legacy inspire musicians everywhere, Doriot.  Here she is performing one of the most famous flute parts of all time, Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune with Leonard Bernstein conducting the BSO.



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