Gee, history was being made all over the place over the weekend.
While major health care was being enacted Sunday in Washington a century or so after being proposed, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday appointed its first female concertmaster in 168 years. Women weren't even admitted on a trial basis as players into the august ensemble until the 1980s, so we're talking a painfully slow process.
I'm not sure how frequently audiences
will see Albena Danailova in the concertmaster's chair -- I wouldn't be surprised if it were more often on tour than at home (the Philharmonic invariably took heat for its male-dominated traditions whenever it traveled, especially to New York). But the fact that the Bulgarian-born violinist has now been given the permanent appointment is still big news. Danailova, a former concertmaster of the London Philharmonic, was named acting concertmaster in Vienna two years ago; she formerly begins her tenure as tenured concertmaster on Sept. 1.
(I tried without luck to find a YouTube clip of the Philharmonic with her playing in the first stand; if you spot one, please let me know and I'll post it.)