Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thu 22 Feb; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 23 Feb. In these liberated days, there aren't many things the gals can't do as well as the guys. But whilst your average orchestra is fair overflowing with females, chances are the person standing in front of them waving a stick is a male. As with most walks of life however, the tide is slowly turning, and riding high atop one of its waves is Marin Alsop.
Born in New York to musical parents, Alsop was playing violin in the children's orchestra at the city’s infamous Julliard School of Music by the age of seven. Three years later she saw Leonard Bernstein conduct and knew she'd never be satisfied hiding behind a fiddle again. As luck (or talent) would have it, Alsop went on to study under the great maestro but found that, brilliant as
Conducting gender studies with Marin Alsop
he was, Bernstein was a little stuck in his ways.
‘He had a preconception that women weren't meant to be conductors,‘ explains Alsop. ‘I think it was just a generational thing, but then of course I became his student and he didn't know quite what to make of me. Occasionally, he’d say “I just don't understand it, when I close my eyes I can't tell you're a woman'“ he was always trying to figure it out.‘
Fortunately for Alsop, the classical music world seems, in the most part, devoid of a glass ceiling, although the New Yorker has had her fair share of knock-backs. ‘It's so hard to know which obstacles are about gender and which ones are simply due to the fact that conducting's a really hard profession,’ she says. 'But one thing that helped me was that I never interpreted any rejection as gender-based; I always thought “I'm just not good enough, I need to work harder".'
Guest appearances with orchestras throughout
America and Europe have led to Alsop becoming one of the world's most sought-after conductors, male or female. Here in Scotland, her sassy American style and down to earth approach has been invigorating RSNO audiences since 1999, and Alsop's next visit later this month should prove more exciting still. In town to conduct the world premiere of fellow New Yorker Michael Torke's Percussion Concerto, she'll also re-kindle her relationship with Edinburgh-born percussionist Colin Currie, for whom the piece was specially commissioned.
'Colin‘s tremendous,‘ enthuses Alsop. ‘I actually brought him to the States for his first concert there when he was nineteen, and he's worked with me many times in Europe. He's fantastically gifted with a great attitude, he‘s a very modest guy who loves what he does, and it's infectious. There's so much energy surrounding this world premier, I think it’ll be great to be around.‘ (Kelly Apter)
"VI ‘. . y , r f / ‘i /’ ‘
Quality quirks not Neil Young by numbers
There’s succulent prime fillet steak and disease-ridden fatty mince out there; we serve up the former. This issue: Shivaree
I need good stuff. Now. Gimme Alright, here we have America’s finest in lazy, downbeat, qunky country, namely Shivaree.
Arrgghh! More alt.country! Run to the hills! Steady there, Shivaree aren't just another band With a Neil Young back catalogue and a sampler to hand. They mix up all sorts of influences from country to trip hop, waltzes and Latin sounds to superbly morose effect on their debut album, IOughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live In This Dump.
Top title Yup, and the story behind it isn't bad either. 'It comes from a 60s TV comedy called Greenacres. There’s an episode where a cow eats a radio, and they have to take it to the vet. That was the name of the song that was playing in one of the cow’s stomachs.’ Or so claims lead singer Ambrosia Parsley.
Whoa there! What was her name? Sigh, I didn’t think y0u'd miss that, Yes, she’s called Ambrosia Parsley, a sub-editor’s wet dream, Clearly her folks had a sense of humour. Ambrosia Parsley? Yes, look, can we get on? Anyhoo, the album's great but not exactly cheery, ’You should have seen the first one we turned in,’ says Ms Parsley. ’The record company were like “Absolutely not, you gotta put something fast on there”. So we pushed the mambo button and out popped ’Goodnight Moon', and they let us put it out.’ She means current single ‘Goodnight Moon'? Very good, yes. It’s about to be released over here and it was Jo Whiley’s single of the week recently on Radio 1. Any other chat about it? Yeah, it just knocked Madonna off the number one spot in Italy. This lot sound daft. I love 'em already. (Doug Johnstonel
The single ’Goodnight Moon’ and the a/bum / Oughtta Give You A Shot In The Head For Making Me Live /n This Dump are out now on Capitol
All the postponements and intonements in the wonderful world of music
SOLO SPICE FANS will shed a tear to hear that Mel C has postponed her date at the Playhouse in Edinburgh on Friday 2 February. Promoters SJM said Mel had postponed her tour because of ‘throat problems’. Refunds are available from the Playhouse box office. The dates are to be rescheduled for some time in May, though confirmed dates have yet to be announced.
[IVE MUSIC ti‘s/ENIS on (ilasgo‘nc (iieeii may be in Jeopardy after (orniilatnts about noise levels at f‘vt‘lli‘) last year Concert promoters are to he brought before the c ity's licensing (oinriattee to explain why their gurdelures new not fully adhered to /\Il‘()ll(l the events ill question are Radiohcnid’s ‘slt()\.‘."’., promoted by DF Concerts and (ilasgot: Green Regular l‘./ltl‘s|(, proiiioteis of Glasgow Green, stated they ﬂew unaware of any complaints about noise until now The licensing (()lllll‘.|ll(‘f‘ will
meet in the coining tweel to disc uss the matter
THE ROCK REVIVAL is set to continue with the Venue starting another club/live music night. Following the very successful debut across town of Hell On Earth last month, Confusion will run monthly on Fridays and showcase new local rock/metal acts.
BE ON THF look out for next issue's list where we Will be telling you about the nation’s best new bands and Dis llI our Scottish Music Special Out lhui‘sday l5 February
lust announced Evan Dando Wilkie House, Edinburgh, 17 Feb, King Tut's Glasgow, 18 Feb, Ugly Duckling Arches, Glasgow, 20 Feb; Turin Brakes King Tut's, Glascjcwl, l Mar, Hed P.E. Garage, Glasgow, 3 Mar, Lowgold Venue, Edinburgh, 3 Mar, Eat Static King Tut's, Glasgow, /1 Mar, Great White and Samantha 7 Garage, Glasgow, 7 Mar, MuDvAyNe Garage, Glasgow, 25 Mar, Terry Callier Wilkie House, Edinburgh, 28 Mar; Dido Barrowlai'id, Glasgow, 6 Apr, Terrorvision Garage, Glasgoxi, IO Apr, Napalm Death King Tut's, Glasgow, 20 Apr, Shed Seven Ql/IU, 25 Apr, Spooks Garage, Glasgow, 4 May; Ash Qlu/IU, Glasgow, S May, Mark Knopfler Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow, 20 Jul
l—IS Feb 2001 THE lIST 47