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Jane Glover

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Biography

Jane Glover is not only known for her conducting, but for her academic achievements, publishing scholarly studies, as well as preparing many of her own editions of Baroque works. In fact, when she studied music at Oxford, her original intention was to become an oboist or musicologist, and she never even took a conducting lesson. She was also one of the first women to earn a living as a conductor, in many respects a trailblazer. Her fascination with music started in childhood after hearing Handel's Messiah, and at the age of 13, she became fascinated by Benjamin Britten. When she met Britten while he and Pears were performing in Wales, he encouraged her in her musical aspirations and sent her tickets to see his Peter Grimes at Sadler's Wells. He was again an influence when she joined the Aldeburgh Festival's students' training program, which involved not only concerts but operations work. As part of the early music ensembles she sang in, she, like all the other members, was called upon to conduct. She soon graduated to conducting oratorios and operas, including the demanding The Marriage of Figaro. Her first professional conducting engagement was in 1975 in a Wexford Festival performance of Cavalli's rarity, L'Eritrea. She found the spotlight of being "the woman conductor" uncomfortable -- her clothing was often reviewed more thoroughly than her performance -- and she joined the Glyndebourne staff working with Bernard Haitink and Simon Rattle, among others, and remained with the company for eight years until she felt prepared to return to the concert stages. In 1978, she published her first book on Cavalli, much of the research spinning off from her earlier doctoral dissertation on seventeenth century Venetian opera. In 1984, she was named artistic director of the London Mozart Players. Under her leadership, the group not only excelled in its core repertoire and produced major recordings of Haydn and Mozart symphonies, but expanded its scope to perform contemporary works. She left the ensemble in 1991. Her United States debut, in 1994, was a nationally televised concert with Jessye Norman themed around women in music. Engagements at Glimmerglass and Mostly Mozart soon followed, and these successes led to many more U.S. engagements. In 2002, she was named principal conductor of the Chicago ensemble Music of the Baroque. Glover released a book, Mozart's Women, in 2005, and her later efforts include discs of The Complete Haydn Masses (2009) and The Very Best of Glyndebourne on Record (2009).

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