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Eímear Noone makes history as Oscars' first female conductor

Eímear Noone Image copyright Allen J. Schaben/Getty Images

Irish composer Eímear Noone will be the first woman to conduct an orchestra at the Oscars.

She will lead the 42-piece orchestra at the Academy Awards as it plays excerpts from five nominated scores on Sunday 9 February.

The Galway-born conductor was invited to take charge by Oscars' Music Director Rickey Minor.

Noone praised the producers who "would like to finally see a female presence on the podium".

Nerve-wracking event

Speaking to Variety magazine, she expressed some nerves before the big event.

"I'd be dead inside if I didn't have any concerns," she said.

"Luckily for me, I have friends in the orchestra and I have friends on the page in front of me.

"The background changes, but the little black dots on the page are always home for me.

"No matter what country I'm in or what concert hall, it doesn't matter - the score is where my mind and my heart are."

Inspiring females

Noone conducts as many as 50 concerts a year and was the first woman to conduct at Dublin's National Concert Hall.

She has conducted the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra along with orchestras around the world including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic of London and the Sydney Symphony in Australia.

Noone told Variety she hopes to inspire future generations of female conductors and composers.

"It's an honour to be there, to help normalize something that I do every day," she said.

"Little girls everywhere will see this and say: 'I think I'll do that.'

"That's what we want."

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