If a male conductor is called "maestro," are you called "maestra"?
Talia Ilan: "Some people do call me that, but I don't like the title, and my husband doesn't like being called 'maestro.' All it means is 'teacher,' but conductors use it in order to create distance and a sense of superiority relative to the orchestra and the audience. I don't feel superior to the musicians or the audience. The way I see my work, I feel that first of all I've come to serve the music and not ourselves, and therefore we aren't more important than the musicians. Our job is to mediate between the music and the audience, via the orchestra. My husband and I don't place ourselves above anything."
So what do you prefer to be called? "Sweetheart"? After all, you're also a blonde.
"Certainly not 'sweetheart,' maybe Talia, or at most Ms. Ilan."
Born in Tel Aviv, Talia Ilan is currently one of only two female Israeli orchestra conductors, if you don't include Prof. Dalia Atlas, the oldest and most respected, who is far older and therefore can justifiably be considered the first Israeli female conductor. Atlas paved the way already in the 1960s. Older readers may remember her conducting the Haifa Symphony Orchestra (whose director was Maestro Sergiu Comissiona) while dressed in a tailored men's suit.
In the dozens of articles written about Atlas, who also attained international success, there was always a discussion of the great wonder − how was it possible that she was both a woman and an orchestra conductor? Because yes, in the context of men's small contribution to the history of humanity and the development of civilization, along with their achievements in battle, their design of enormous buildings and their trivial inventions such as electricity and telephones, their decisive and almost exclusive contribution to the world of classical music is evident, both in composition and even more so in conducting. Atlas paved the way, but no