View from the Podium: One Woman’s Perpective


Date Thursday February 12th 2004
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

Conducting an orchestra is an amazing experience. In what other profession are you applauded for coming to work, and then a hundred people give you their undivided attention for up to three hours at a time, responding to your every thought and desire?

It’s also a lot of hard work. Most people who succeed in this profession have been pursuing music singlemindedly since they were very young, and the chances of being able to make a living at it are very slim. It’s basically an impossible profession and there is no recipe for success, especially for a woman.

Having accepted those parameters, I am happily pursuing my chosen profession and look forward to sharing some of my thoughts and answering your questions about the joys and hazards of conducting orchestras, opera, and ballet. I started out with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and Opera San Jose, and now I am the Staff Conductor at San Francisco Opera and Founding Music Director of the Tassajara Symphony. I will conduct for the SF Ballet just after my talk, and this fall I have the honor of becoming the first woman to conduct at the San Francisco Opera.



Sara Jobin is the Staff Conductor at San Francisco Opera, where she is scheduled to conduct performances of Puccini's Tosca and Wagner's Flying Dutchman in the Fall of 2004. She is also the Founding Music Director and Principal Guest Conductor of the Tassajara Symphony Orchestra in California.

Jobin recently led a triple bill for the San Francisco Opera Center, for which Opera Magazine praised her "cogent conducting...with distinction" and the San Francisco Chronicle hailed her "expertly fluid and responsive musical leadership." She has also conducted for Opera San Jose, San Francisco Ballet and the Alberta Ballet in Canada. In 1999 she was the first recipient of the Jo Ann Falletta Award, given by The Women's Philharmonic in recognition of a young female conductor of outstanding promise.

Jobin's Kids Concerts have proven to be especially popular, and she has founded two series of them in the Bay Area, with the Tassajara Symphony and the Palo Alto Philharmonic. She has also led these concerts for the San Jose Chamber Orchestra and Dayton Philharmonic in Ohio.

While in her teens, Jobin was inspired to become a conductor by watching Leonard Bernstein rehearse and perform at Tanglewood. At 16 she attended Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, where she was named a Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar. After graduation, as a John Knowles Paine Travelling Fellow, she studied conducting with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School.

Jobin recently earned her black belt in judo and has been an international medalist in kata competition.

Additional information

Focus Areas

Our work is centered around a series of Focus Areas that we believe are the future of science and technology.

Licensing & Commercialization Opportunities

We’re continually developing new technologies, many of which are available for¬†Commercialization.


PARC scientists and staffers are active members and contributors to the science and technology communities.