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DSO Names 1st Woman Principal Guest Conductor;
Ancient Instrument found in Rome
It’s This Week in Classical Music, An Update on what’s happening in the classical music world; I’m Randy Kinkel.
the Dallas Symphony Orchestra has named New Zealander Gemma New the first woman Principal Guest Conductor. The appointment inaugurates a program that will hire a succession of female principal guest conductors.
Her 2019 appearances will coincide with the DSO's inaugural Women in Classical Music Symposium.
New (whose first name is pronounced with a soft "g") is now music director of the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra in Ontario, Canada, resident conductor of the St. Louis Symphony and music director of the Youth Orchestra. She has created an innovative series in Hamilton combining classic works with new scores, electronic indie music, lighting and visual art installations.
As a guest conductor, the 31 year old led the New York Philharmonic and the Detroit, New, Jersey, San Diego and Toronto symphony orchestras, as well as Many in Europe.
"Everyone was really enthralled with Gemma," Noltemy says. "One of our players even got to play in an orchestra with her, which gave us more insight into her conducting.
"I think the audience here will love her."
the DSO has been a leader in appointing women as assistant conductors, and announced plans to hire more of them for two-year tenures. They also plan commissions for 20 new works, half by women and announced Julia Wolfe as its first composer-in-residence.
When archaeologist Giovanni Carboni found the oddly shaped ceramic object during an excavation in a Roman suburb in 2006, he was baffled.
“I had no idea what it was,” Dr. Carboni said.
Now, Twelve years later, Carboni says he believes that the artifact, from the Gaudo culture, a society from the region of Campania, is a musical instrument.
It looks like half of an oversize walnut shell. The rim is perforated evenly with holes. “It dates to around 3000 B.C., so, for Italy, it’s the oldest ever found,” he said.
One hypothesis was that it might have been a cheese strainer.
Then, similarities were found with two other objects, found near Naples, that had been convincingly identified as sound boxes for musical instruments.
Martina Nicole Cerri, an archaeology student at Sapienza University in Rome, created two hypothetical versions of the instrument — one a kind of bowed lute, the other a sort of lyre.
This year, the artifact was showcased in an exhibition at the university museum titled “Lost Sounds.”
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