The Biographies of
William Osborne and Abbie Conant
was recognized as especially talented at an early age and received a scholarship to the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she received a diploma in 1973. In 1977 she received her Bachelor´s Degree (cum Laude) from Temple University where she studied with Dee Stewart of the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1976 she studied at Yale University, and in 1979 she received her Master´s Degree from the Juilliard School in New York City where she studied with Per Brevig of the Metropolotian Opera. In that same year she was a finalist in the Young Artists Competition in New York City. In 1979 she studied with Vinko Globokar at the L´Accademia di Chigiana in Siena. In 1984 she received a diploma from the Meisterklasse of Branimir Slokar at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Köln.
In 1979-1980 she was solo trombonist of the Royal Opera of Turin. From 1980 to 1993 she was solo trombonist of the Munich Philharmonic.
The International Trombone Association Journal has featured Abbie Conant in a cover article and described her as "in the first rank of world class trombonists". She has recorded a highly acclaimed CD of trombone and organ music and performs internationally as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and performance artist, including appearances with the Hessische Rundfunk Symphonie Orchester, the Münchner Kammerorchester, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Munich Philharmonic, the St. Joseph´s Symphony, and the Halle Symphony Orchestra. Her work as a performance artist has taken her to most of the large state theaters in Germany, where she has performed to great critical and public acclaim. She has been nominated for the professorships of trombone at the state colleges of music in Köln, Berlin, and Graz.
In 1985 she was a featured solist at the Semaine Internationale du Trombone et du Tuba in Metz. In 1990 she was selected by her peers as a featured soloist at the Internationale Posaunen Verein Werkstatt at the Bundsakademie in Trossingen, where she was also asked to deliver a lecture, "Die Posaune als Dramatikerin" ("The trombone as Actress"). In 1992 Abbie Conant was elected to the Board of Directors of the International Trombone Association by its 3000 professional members, a group of ten trombonists representing the highest professional standards. In both 1992 and 1995 she was selected to be a featured soloist at the International Trombone Association Workshops in Detmold, Germany, and Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the recent years she has performed as a soloist in over 155 American and European cities. These performances have been written about in articles in countless publications, including the Washtington Post and the Wall Street Journal.
Because of her international reputation Abbie Conant's highly acclaimed "International Trombone Camp" draws students from all over the world. In 1992 Abbie Conant was featured in the cover article of The Trombonist, the journal of the British Trombone Society.
In 1992 the Baden-Würtenburg State Ministry for Education, in recognition of her international reputation as a trombonist, named her full tenured Professor of Trombone at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen where she replaced Branimir Slokar. In 1996 Abbie was elected as Vice-President/President Elect of the International Trombone Association, though it has been necessary for her to resign to fulfill the obligations of her solo career.
William Osborne was born 1951 in Deming, N.M., the grandson of homesteading cotton farmers. He worked his way through college at the University of New Mexico and recieved a BA in 1973. He then studied with George Crumb for five years while living in Philadelphia and New York, and with Franco Donatoni for two in Rome at the famous L'Academia di Santa Cecilia. He has received two ASCAP awards, a Doctoral Fellowship to Columbia University, alternate to the American Rome Prize, and a major prize from the Theater Commission of the City of Munich for his Beckett productions. He founded The Wasteland Company in 1984 along with his wife Abbie Conant as the main performer to explore women's roles in music theater.
Two doctoral dissertations have been written about William and Abbie's music theater and multimedia work. Dr. Jesús Fernando Lloret González, a professor at the Conservatorio Superior de Música de Málaga completed his dissertation about our music theater and multimedia work in 2012. It is entitled, “Fusión del Teatro Y La Ópera a Través de Los Medios Audiovisuales: La Trombonista Abbie Conant Y El Compositor William Osborne.” (“The Fusion of Theater and Opera Through Audiovisual Media In the Work of William Osborne and Abbie Conant.”) He was given the highest distinction, cum laudem, for his work. The degree was awarded by the Faculty of Cinema and Communications at the University of Málaga.
in 2013, Dr. Jessica D. Butler completed her dissertation about our music theater work and
was awarded a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree by the University of Iowa. Her dissertation is entitled “The Creative Identity of Women: An Analysis of Feminist Themes in Select Chamber Music Theater Works by Composer William Osborne for Trombonist Abbie Conant.”
In recent years William and Abbie have toured to over 165 cities in America and Europe to great critical acclaim with his compositions. Their European venues have included the Munich Biennale, The Stuttgarter Tage für Neue Musik, The Hamburg State Opera, The Bavarian State Opera, The Freiburg Theater Festival, The State Theater of Kassel, Frankfurt’s Theater am Turm, Munich’s Gasteig Cultrual Center, and Nuovo Forme Sonare in Rome. They have performed and given workshops at most of America’s major music schools including The Juilliard School, The New England Conservatory, Yale University, The Eastman School of Music, The Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University, The San Francisco Conservatory, Cal Arts, the University of California at Berkley, Ithaca College, and the University of Northern Texas.
He also has written numerous scholarly articles about women in music, music sociology and philosophical/theoretical concepts. His article "Sounding the Abyss of Otherness: Pauline Oliveros' Deep Listening and the Sonic Meditations is published in Women Making Art (New York: Lang 2000.) His article “You Sound Like A Ladies’ Orchestra: A Case History of Sexism Against Abbie Conant In the Munich Philharmonic” has won a “Best of the Web” award and led to a 90 minute documentary film about Abbie’s experiences broadcast nationally on German State Television. The article was also the basis of the last chapter of Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 18 weeks -- and number one for three. His article “Art Is Just An Excuse: Gender Bias In International Orchestras”was published in the Journal of the International Alliance for Women In Music, where it initiated international protests against the Vienna Philharmonic and worldwide press coverage including reports on NPR, an interview of William on ABC’s Good Morning America, and front page articles on both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. His article “Symphony Orchestras and Artist-Prophets: Cultural Isomorphism and the Allocation of Power in Music” was published in Leonardo Music Journal—a joint venture of the International Society for Art, Science and Technology and the M.I.T. Press.
In 1998 he was given a Special Recognition Award by the International Alliance for Women in Music for his services to women in music. In January 2000 MSNBC published a major article about his work on their web new site, "Taking On the Vienna Philharmonic."
Some major interviews and articles about us.
Dissertation by Dr. Jessica D. Butler, University of Iowa
“The Creative Identity of Women: An Analysis of Feminist Themes in Select Chamber Music Theater Works by Composer William Osborne for Trombonist Abbie Conant.”
Dissertation by Dr. Jesús Fernando Lloret González, University of Málaga, Spain
“Fusión del Teatro Y La Ópera a Través de Los Medios Audiovisuales: La Trombonista Abbie Conant Y El Compositor William Osborne.” (“The Fusion of Theater and Opera Through Audiovisual Media In the Work of William Osborne and Abbie Conant.”)
A discussion of our artistic techniques and their development by William Osborne.
About our work for women in music on the MSNBC News website.
A hilarious article in Cracked.com that covers Abbie's experiences in the Munich Philharmonic. It has had over 700,000 readers and "Liked" on Facebook over 14,000 times.
Abbie's experiences in the Munich Philharmonic comprise the last chapter of the book which was on the New York Times Bestseller List for 18 weeks -- and number one for three.
clarino, bläsermusik international 5/2004
An interview in the IAWM Journal.
„We’ll sing from our Hearts“ (Auf Deutsch)
VivaVoce (Summer 2000). (A German language interview of us together in the Journal of the Internationale Arbeitskries Frau und Musik)
The Wall Street Journal (July 7, 1993)
By Monique Buzzarte, IAWM Journal (Febraruy 1996)pp. 8-11.
"The Wired Goddess and Her Trombone" (Auf Deutsch)
Ein Bericht von Theda Weber-Lucks für den SWR, 15. Dezember 2000
Mark Adamo , "The Trombonist Who Locked Horns," The Washington Post (March 14, 1994)
„Aus dem Blech gefallen,“Der Spiegel (No. 44, 1991)pp. 89-93.
„Wenn eine Frau die erste Posaune spielt,“ TAZ-Jouranl zur Weltfrauenkonferenz Peking. (taz vom Dez. 29, 1994)pp. 66-67.
„Wir Brauchen einen Mann...“ Kultur Joker, (May 1995): Title page. (Lange Interview)
Hannes Hintermeir, "Celi Will keine Frau an der Posaune," Abend Zeitung, Dienstag, 29. Oktober 1991, Seite 16
Benda, "Die zärtliche Stärke", Badische Zeitung,
Mittwoch, 24. Mai
Mittwoch, 24. Mai
“Meine Enstschieidung zu kämpfen war für mich der erste Gewinn...” Frau und Musik Nr. 23, 1992)pp4-6.
Hugo Magliocco, „A Special Endurance“ ITA Journal (Vol. 20, No. 2, Spring 1992)pp. 22-28.
James Wierzbicki, “A Piercing Excerpt From ‘Miriam’” St. Louis Post-Dispatch (May 31, 1993)p. 5a.
Richard Dyer, “Trombonist Conant makes her point loud and clear” The Boston Globe (Febraury 25, 1994)
Performance Today, a 20 minute program about Abbie Conant broadcast by NPR (March 1994)
“Abbie Conant: Alein unter Mannern,” 1994 (Deutsche Fassung)
“Abbie Conant: A Solo Among Men” 1994 (English version)
a 90 minute documentary film produced by 3 SAT and broadcast nationally on German National Television. To order the video contact:
Muskauer Str. 24
Phone: (0)30 61 79 74 32
Fax: (0)30 61 79 74 33