While we were busy chronicling the customary discrimination against women at the Vienna
Philharmonic, Laurie Niles, a volinist in the Pasadena Symphony, has been describing her effort to
get an audition at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. We learned about Niles from a friend’s smart tip.
He pointed to this item at LA Observed, which in turn pointed to Laurie Niles’s
“Apparently the Big Orchestra in Town got more than 500 resumes
for their one section violin position,” she writes, “and after carefully reviewing mine decided not
to ‘invite’ me to the audition. Waah! They even returned my $100 deposit fee!” Read about her
extraordinary commitment to getting that audition, no matter what. The odds are actually greater
than 500 to 1, but LA Observed says, “Don’t bet against her.”
Postscript: It should be mentioned that the problem of a woman
being picked for the LA Phil doesn’t have much to do with gender these days, in
contrast to the Vienna Phil. This is particularly true for violinists. There are nine women
and nine men in the first-violin section, for example, and at least four women among
the 15 second violinists. The total for all sections of the LA Phil — by my count 31
women and 72 men — is about average for American orchestras.