Canadians Juliane Gallant and Jennifer Tung have been announced as the first conductors to join the new Women in Musical Leadership fellowship program led by Toronto’s Tapestry Opera.
Designed as a professional opportunity meant to expand the talent pool of musical leadership in Canada, the program is set to begin in February 2021. Gallant and Tung will be mentored by conductors Rosemary Thomson from the Okanagan Symphony and Opera Kelowna, and JoAnn Faletta from the Buffalo Philharmonic. Supporting them will be Pacific Opera Victoria’s (POV) Artistic Director Timothy Vernon and Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s (TSO) Music Director Gustavo Gimeno.
Woman in Musical Leadership is a three-year program that hosts six participants in groups of two beginning a year apart. It was first announced in October 2020 in partnership with POV and TSO and will run until June 2024.
New Brunswick’s Gallant is returning to Canada from the UK where she trained at the National Opera Studio and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Etobicoke’s Tung joins the program, currently working as Artistic Director of Toronto City Opera and the Mississauga Children’s Choir and as Assistant Conductor of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra.
“This fellowship is a celebration of Canadian companies from coast to coast coming together to train the next generation of musical leadership. We thank our partners and welcome Juliane and Jennifer to an exciting next three years,” says Tapestry’s Artistic and General Director Michael Mori, and Executive Director Jaime Martino in a joint statement.
The program was created to address the gender imbalance that the classical music industry continues to face. Recognizing that gender is a spectrum, it accepts cis and trans women, as well as non-binary musicians for the chance to be a part of this professional development opportunity.
“Looking at my musical journey so far, from concert pianist to vocalist to collaborative pianist/vocal coach, I have loved (and still love) every part of this journey but it is when I found conducting that I finally feel like I am home. I am so humbled and excited to be awarded this fellowship so I can focus on learning from the fantastic mentors as well as getting experiences on the podium that will help me hone this incredibly complex craft,” says Tung.
Applications for the second cohort will reopen in late 2021.