Announcing updates to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Women in Classical Music Symposium

NOVEMBER 8-11, 2020 


Now offering Virtual Attendance via a Web-Based Platform 

Additional Panel added – “Amplifying Voices – Shaping the Future of Orchestral Music Through Collective Action” 

Registration Now Open

Dallas, TX (August 24, 2020) – Today the Dallas Symphony announces updates to its 2020 Women in Classical Music Symposium. This intensive and comprehensive symposium, sponsored by Billingsley Company, will be held November 8-11, 2020, with featured talks and panel discussions on topics relevant to women in the classical music industry and their unique struggles and triumphs. Additional support for the symposium was provided by Texas Women’s Foundation, Joanne Bober and Yon Jorden.

In response to COVID-19, the Women in Classical Music Symposium will be available both in-person in Dallas and virtually through a web-based conferencing platform. Both attendance options will allow attendees to engage with each other in multiple ways, including breakout sessions, networking and the speed dating mentorship session. The in-person symposium will still include additional networking, socialization and performance opportunities. To ensure the safety of our in-person attendees, masks will be required at all times, temperatures will be taken and socially distanced seating will be enforced throughout the entire symposium, with all events occurring in large, open spaces. The keynote luncheon, coffee hours and symposium dinner will feature pre-packaged meals. With the safety of DSO musicians and concert audiences foremost in planning, the performances will be performed with no intermission, will be composed of smaller, socially-distanced orchestral ensembles that have received COVID-19 tests and audiences will be limited. Registration for both in-person and virtual attendees will be $90 and registrations can be purchased at 

“Though we were optimistic that a large, in-person event would be able to happen, we know that the current realities make it difficult for people to travel and gather,” said Kim Noltemy, Ross Perot President & CEO of the Dallas Symphony. “In these times, it’s important to look to ways to creatively engage those who were planning on joining us, and the virtual component should provide a robust and rewarding experience.”

Also, in addition to previously announced events, a new panel has been added for Wednesday, November 11 at 12:15 PM. “Amplifying Voices – Shaping the Future of Orchestral Music Through Collective Action” is being co-hosted by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and New Music USA and moderated by Vanessa Reed. Panelists will include JoAnn Falletta and Joseph Young.

The Women in Classical Music Symposium will include networking opportunities with pathways for discussions and conversations relevant to individuals in all roles of classical music – orchestra members, soloists, composers, conductors and administrators – and at all stages of careers.

This year, the DSO will honor three extraordinary women for their work in the field. Violinist Hilary Hahn will receive the Award of Excellence for decades of musical innovation and performance. A three-time GRAMMY® Award-winning violinist guided by artistic curiosity, Hahn matches expressive musicality and technical expertise with a diverse repertoire. She is a prolific recording artist and commissioner of new works with a barrier-breaking attitude toward classical music and a commitment to sharing her experiences with the global community.

Hahn has nominated composer Katherine Balch to receive this year’s Career Advancement Award which will be presented at the conference. Described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “breathtakingly beautiful” and “some kind of musical Thomas Edison — you can just hear her tinkering around in her workshop, putting together new sounds and textural ideas,” Balch’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles including the Tokyo, Albany, Oregon, Indianapolis and Minnesota Symphony Orchestras, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the London Sinfonietta and the Argus Quartet. She recently completed her three-year tenure as composer-in-residence with the California Symphony and is managed by Young Concert Artists, where she was the 2017-2019 composer-in-residence. In 2021, she will be in residence at the American Academy in Rome, as the Elliot Carter Rome Prize Fellow. She is currently on faculty at Mannes School of Music, while pursuing her D.M.A. at Columbia University.

Long-time orchestra executive and current President and CEO of the New York Philharmonic, Deborah Borda will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. Throughout her distinguished career, Borda has been an inspirational leader, extending and expanding the artistic and technological boundaries of American symphony orchestras. She has championed and mentored many in the industry, from countless administrators to women composers and conductors, all of whom have benefitted from her counsel and action.

During the symposium, the DSO will present concerts led by Marin Alsop and featuring violin soloist Hilary Hahn as part of its Texas Instruments Classical Series.

Topics for this year’s Symposium include “Breaking Barriers – Women in Classical Music,” “Motherhood and Music – Women as Caregivers,” “DEI: Transforming (presented by Laura Colgate & Joy-Leilani Garbutt, Co-Founders, Boulanger Initiative) and “Music and Wellness.” Returning this year, the popular Mentorship Speed Dating session allows attendees to make meaningful connections and was a favorite event during the inaugural Symposium.

The full panel lineup and guest speakers is available at . This event is presented as part of the DSO’s extensive Women in Classical Music initiative, which is supported in part by Capital One, The Eugene McDermott Foundation and Martha Wells.

About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra 
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Fabio Luisi, presents the finest in orchestral music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premier concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches more than 243,000 adults and children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives annually. The DSO’s involvement with the City of Dallas and the surrounding region includes an award-winning multi-faceted educational program, community projects, popular parks concerts and youth programming.  The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900 and is a cornerstone of the unique, 68-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks; the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Arts and Culture, City of Dallas.