Finnish conductor Jorma Panula under fire for sexist remarks regarding female conductors.

Finnish composer and conducting coach Jorma Panula has caused a storm in his home country by criticising women conductors in a television interview. In an interview published by the Finnish news broadcaster MTV, Panula was bluntly asked if it is a good thing that women conductors enter the profession. Panula replied with a firm “I do not!”

Jorma Panula, 83, is a highly regarded conductor and educator, and throughout the 60’s and 70’s served as the artistic director and chief conductor of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra, the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Aarhus Symphony. He served as Professor of Conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.

He has been credited as the teacher of a generation of Finland’s most successful conductors, and in 2000 Panula was listed in the BBC music Magazine league-table of the “60 most powerful people in music” for being instrumental “in bringing about a change in Finnish music and elevating it to the highest levels in Europe”.

However, for all the change Panula has brought about culturally for Finland, his...