Based on the true story of the Dutch-born Antonia Brico, who in the late 1920s was the world’s first woman successfully conduct a large symphony orchestra. Another opportunity to see this film which opened the 2018 CIFF as a UK premiere, but still unreleased here.
United States 1926: the Dutch, 24-year-old Antonia Brico (Christanne de Bruijn) was a child when she and her parents (Annet Malherbe and Raymond Thiry) migrate to the United States. She dreams of becoming a conductor, but nobody takes her ambition seriously.
Her piano teacher advises her against taking the entrance exam for the conservatory. Because she has little to lose, she returns to her motherland, where she begs the famous conductor Mengelberg (Gijs Scholten van Aschat) to give her conducting lessons. Mengelberg is not comfortable with the idea and sends her to Berlin where she, against all expectations, has a better chance as a woman to make it.
After a two-year study at the State Academy of Music she becomes the first woman to conduct the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. NB. For the first time in Dutch history, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra appointed a woman as its Chief Conductor Karina Canellakis and the film contains superb and enticing extracts of classical music especially performed for ‘The Conductor’.