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Vienna Orchestra

March 07, 1998

Having just read Jan Herman's thorough story on continuing gender discrimination in the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra ("Vienna Still a Boys Orchestra," Feb. 27), I was puzzled that the The Times printed the response by M. L. Falcone, spokeswoman for the Vienna Philharmonic U.S. tour, which added no new information on the Vienna Philharmonic's latest auditions. ("Vienna Philharmonic," Feb. 28).

The "VPO WATCH" established early in 1997 by the International Alliance for Women in Music has not yet observed any improvements in audition procedures that would show the world that the Vienna Philharmonic is sincerely interested in having women in the orchestra. Such steps would be most fitting for this esteemed and influential orchestra.

IAWM would like to challenge the claim of Vienna Philharmonic concertmaster, Rainer Kuchl, that he can "tell a female violinist at once, even if she is concealed by a curtain," as he said in the December 1997 issue of the Strad. Is Kuchl willing to put this extraordinary ability to a public test?

DR. DEON NIELSEN PRICE

President, International Alliance for Women in Music

Culver City

and MONIQUE BUZZARTE

New York City vice president, International Alliance for Women in Music

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