Vienna makes first woman concertmaster permanent

March 20, 2010 7:33:43 PM PDT
The Vienna Philharmonic has permanently appointed its first woman concertmaster.

Albena Danailova has been acting concertmaster since September 2008 - the first woman ever in that position with the orchestra. The world famous ensemble announced Saturday that she was now permanently appointed to that position after passing probation.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was an all-male ensemble for most of its 160 years. The first women joined in the 1980s.

The concertmaster - the head of the first violin section - is considered the most important orchestra member after the conductor.