The VPO's Double Standard Age Limit

November 11, 2000

Yestday I mentioned that the VPO recently hired a British trombonist, Ian Bousfield. I notice that he is 36 years old, even though the Vienna State Opera/VPO has an age limit of 35 for job applicants. The orchestra recently prevented an Austrian women, born in Vienna and educated at the Wiener Musik Hochschule, who works in the Berlin Philharmonic, from auditioning because she was 35 at the time.  See the article.  It is interesting that the VPO makes an exception for man--even if Britian isn't exactly a bastion of the Viennese style--but not for a Viennese woman trained in Vienna and playing in a top orchestra much more closely related to the VPO's style. Bigots have a remarkable flexibility about certain things.

William Osborne