Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a Music Director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives”. She is recognised across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages.
Her outstanding success as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) since 2007 has been recognised by two extensions in her tenure, now confirmed until 2021. As part of her artistic leadership, Alsop has led the orchestra on their first European tour to the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival and created several bold initiatives: ‘OrchKids’, for the city’s most deprived young people, and the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians for adult amateur musicians. Alsop became Principal Conductor and Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) in 2012, where she continues to steer highly creative programming and outreach activities, and which she conducts on the international stage: this includes a tour to Asia in 2019 with two concerts at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and three European tours featuring critically acclaimed performances at major summer festivals including the Lucerne Festival and in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna; her contract continues to the end of 2019, when she becomes Conductor of Honour. In September 2019, Alsop becomes Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Marin Alsop conducts the world’s major orchestras, with recent and forthcoming European highlights including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) and London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). In the US, Alsop regularly conducts the Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago Symphony orchestras, including at their summer residencies at Saratoga, Blossom and Ravinia. Further highlights of the 2018/19 season include the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Spanish National Orchestra, and the Orchestre National de France, following summer festival debuts at the Grafenegg and MITO festivals with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a second residency with the Britten-Pears Orchestra at the Snape Proms.
As one of Leonard Bernstein’s best known pupils, Alsop is central to his 100th anniversary global celebrations: she opened the LSO’s tribute, an orchestra with whom she has a close and long-standing relationship, and conducted performances of Bernstein Mass at the Ravinia Festival, as the festival's Musical Curator, and at Southbank Centre, where she is Artist in Residence. Also at Southbank Centre she conducts Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, which she conducts most seasons, including at the BBC Proms with recent performances of Brahms, Schumann and Verdi on period instruments. In September 2013, Marin Alsop made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms, which she returned to conduct in 2015.
Her extensive discography has led to multiple Gramophone awards and includes highly praised Naxos cycles of Brahms with the LPO and MDR Leipzig, Dvořák with the BSO, Prokofiev with OSESP, and further recordings for Decca Classics, Harmonia Mundi and Sony Classical. She is dedicated to new music, demonstrated in her 25-year tenure as Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
Among her many awards and academic positions, Marin Alsop is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Philharmonic Society, and was recently appointed Director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute. She attended the Juilliard School and Yale University, who awarded her an Honorary Doctorate in 2017. Her conducting career was launched in 1989, when she was the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center.
Spectator, November 2017
"Alsop understands Bernstein’s language better than you suspect he did himself… The effect? Electrifying."
Sunday Times, March 2017
"This giant score received a towering performance."
WQXR, March 2017
"If anyone has the courage and power to change the world through music, it’s Marin Alsop."