Letter: Promenading without women

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Sir: On the subject of 'equality at the Proms' (Letters, 9 September), I believe that the most shameful inequality is that now, after 100 years, no female conductor has been invited to conduct the 'Last Night'. If such a slighting of massive female musical talent is allowed to continue for a few more years, this popular annual ceremony will have been conducted exclusively by men for the whole of the 20th century.

One has only to think of some of the 'Last Nights' which were never heard to realise what unique experiences have already been missed - eg, Imogen Holst conducting her father's suite The Planets, or Dame Ethel Smyth starting her own 'Last Night' with her overture 'The Wreckers' and ending up with 'Land of Hope and Glory'.

Today's musical world has an absolute 'galaxy' of excellent female conductors who are more than competent to equal the deceased ones who never got this particular opportunity. Why have they never been invited?

Yours sincerely,


Gosforth, Northumberland

9 September