The dream of my life, being a conductor

Berta Alves de Sousa’s conducting career

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Berta Alves de Sousa (1906-1997) was a Portuguese composer, pianist, and music critic who attained national recognition during the 20th century. In the 1930s she started a brief but intense career as a conductor that led her to conduct the Orchestra of the Musicians Union, the National Radio Light-Music Orchestra and the Oporto Music Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. The reaction of her male colleagues was cold and distant, but the critics were delighted with Sousa’s talent, sobriety and dignity. Based on documents from her personal collection, held at the Oporto Music Conservatory, on a collection of letters written to the composer and conductor Frederico de Freitas, held at Aveiro University Library, and on the local press reports, the present paper aims to shed light on Berta Alves de Sousa’s conducting career, addressing issues related with the difficulties of being a female conductor in a predominantly masculine world. This paper will demonstrate Sousa’s tenacity and determination to gain critical and popular acceptance as an orchestral conductor despite the dissenting voices that emerged in Portuguese musical milieu.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
EventThe First International Conference on Women’s Work in Music - School of Music, Bangor University, Wales, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20177 Sep 2017

Conference

ConferenceThe First International Conference on Women’s Work in Music
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityWales
Period4/09/177/09/17

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Keywords

  • Porto
  • Berta Alves de Sousa
  • Séc. XX
  • Maestrina

Cite this

Fonseca, A. M. L. D., Marinho, H., Pereira, S. C. A., & Silva, M. P. D. (2017). The dream of my life, being a conductor: Berta Alves de Sousa’s conducting career . Paper presented at The First International Conference on Women’s Work in Music , Wales, United Kingdom.