Rhode Island Philharmonic guest conductor Tania Miller & soloist Sara Davis Buechner discussed gender, equity and leadership at the Lincoln School

About 200 middle and upper school students at the all-girl Lincoln School in Providence  hosted conductor Tania Miller and pianist Sara Davis Buechner. They offered insight into issues of gender and equity in the arts and the entertainment field.

Miller successfully navigated the male-dominated field of conducting to become the first female music director of a significant Canadian orchestra. Buechner is the most high-profile musical performing and recording artist to undergo gender reassignment surgery mid-career. The conversation continued later that day during a RI Philharmonic Orchestra rehearsal.

Lincoln School, the only all-girls Quaker independent school in the United States, is committed to putting girls first in all areas of life and learning. Lincoln’s dynamic academic program educates its students to fearlessly embrace the opportunities and responsibilities of full citizenship in a complex world, valuing all-girls education, a life of the mind, a global perspective in service of social justice and responsibility, and a community of trust and mutual respect which affirms the inherent value of every person. As the nation’s only independent school for girls rooted in Quaker values, Lincoln provides a unique educational community for grades 1 through 12, and a dynamic early childhood coed program from six weeks through Pre-Kindergarten. Our students come from the greater Providence area and beyond, and represent diverse backgrounds, religious traditions, and perspectives. Learn more at www.lincolnschool.org

Canadian conductor Tania Miller has distinguished herself as a dynamic interpreter, musician and innovator on the podium and off. This season, she will return to lead the Chicago Symphony as well as the Toronto Symphony, Calgary Philharmonic and Orchestra Métropolitain de Montreal. Miller has appeared as a guest conductor in Canada, United States and Europe with the Bern Symphony and National Arts Centre (Ottawa) orchestras, Hartford, Oregon, Seattle and Vancouver symphonies, and the NFM Wrocław, Louisiana and Naples philharmonics. During her 14 years as music director of the Victoria Symphony in Canada, Ms. Miller gained national acclaim for her passion and commitment to the orchestra and community. She was the driving force behind new growth and innovation for the Victoria Symphony, and gained a national reputation as a highly effective advocate and communicator for the arts. As curator, she distinguished herself as a visionary leader and innovator.

Sara Davis Buechner is one of the leading concert pianists of our time, praised worldwide as a musician of “intelligence, integrity and all-encompassing technical prowess” by the New York Times. With an active repertoire of more than 100 concertos, she has appeared as a soloist with many of the world’s most prominent orchestras. Audiences throughout North and South America have applauded Ms. Buechner’s recitals in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and the Hollywood Bowl. She enjoys wide success throughout Asia where she tours annually. Ms. Buechner’s numerous recordings have received prominent critical acclaim. Her extensive discography includes music by Bach, Brahms, Busoni, Dvořák, Mozart, Stravinsky and Turina; Hollywood piano concertos by Bernard Herrmann and Franz Waxman; rare American music of George Gershwin, Dana Suesse, Pauline Alpert and Joseph Lamb; and the complete piano music of Miklós Rózsa. Her piano artistry may also be heard on the recent DVD of Carl Dreiser’s 1925 silent film Master of the House, available through the Criterion Collection.