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Attack on Judith Weir

by sarah - August 7th, 2014.
Filed under: composers, news, women composers. Tagged as: , , .

Well. We knew it couldn’t possibly be that easy. When Judith Weir was announced to be the next Master of Queen’s Music the news was met with some excitement and praise for Weir and her well-respected work. We first addressed the news here, and after the official announcement from the Palace, Weir also responded directly in The Guardian  where she shared her plans to travel the country, get to really know the status of music education, speak to musicians, composers, and educators and work to make music more accessible to the masses.

But on Sunday David Mellor, former Culture Secretary and Daily Mail classical music critic, stirred the pot with a “scathing attack” against the appointment. In an article in the Daily Mail Mellor said:

Weir-Judith-06[Dietmar_Mathis]

Rather than focus on her being the first woman to hold the post, would it not be better to concentrate on whether this is a job she is capable of doing?

and:

I’d rather be thrown into a pit of scorpions than have to sit through another of her operas.

Charming. And, charming, too, were the trolls that came to the surface in the comments section of the article. My favorite comment thus far:

We all know it is a politically correct appointment—a token woman (doubtless with all the nutty, left-wing views of Cameron). There are NO great composers from the female gender and there NEVER will be.

Many have added to the conversation in support of Weir and to reaffirm the appointment—even Weir’s predecessor, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, sang her praises. Though there is always the matter of personal taste, there is little doubt as to how well-qualified she is for the position, but that has never stopped the criticisms that appear all too often in situations like this. Mellor certainly knew what he was doing when making such accusations and stirring the pot to rally support against Weir. As the first woman appointed to this position Weir is automatically accused of being a “token” appointment, and thereby unworthy of the title and role. And who says that women have reached true equality?

 

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