Intermusica artists at the 2018 Edinburgh International Festival
The Edinburgh International Festival announced the programme for this year's edition on 15 March 2018, and as ever there is a strong Intermusica presence at the festival. Highlights include concerts from Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony as part of their first overseas tour in 13 years, a tribute to Thea Musgrave from Martyn Brabbins and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and Carlos Miguel Prieto and the YOA Youth Orchestra of the Americas, as well as recitals from the Pavel Haas Quartet and Roger Vignoles.
Richard Egarr and the Academy of Ancient Music return to the festival this year for a concert of Vivaldi and Telemann with Nicola Benedetti on 4 August. Egarr leads the ensemble from the harpsichord and is the soloist for Vivaldi's A major Concerto.
Carlos Miguel Prieto brings the Youth Orchestra of the Americas to Edinburgh for a performance with pianist Gabriela Montero on 7 August. Prieto conducts a programme of Chávez Sinfonia india, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 and Copland Symphony No.3.
Martyn Brabbins joins forces with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Edinburgh Festival Chorus on 9 August to celebrate the 90th birthday of composer Thea Musgrave. Brabbins conducts the Scottish premiere of Musgrave's Turbulent Landscapes, a journey through six Turner land and seascapes, and Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony.
Lise Davidsen travels to Edinburgh for her festival debut on 16 August. Davidsen joins Vasily Petrenko and the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra to sing orchestral songs by Strauss, including "Cäcilie" and "Wiegenlied". Davidsen sang the same works with the orchestra in Oslo earlier this season and also recently joined them for Strauss Four Last Songs.
Roger Vignoles returns to Edinburgh, this time with soprano Dorothea Röschmann on 21 August. Vignoles accompanies Röschmann in a programme of Romantic songs by Schubert, Schumann, Beethoven and Wolf.
The Pavel Haas Quartet returns to the festival on 22 August to perform two landmark quartets: Schubert String Quartet No.13 'Rosamunde' and Ravel String Quartet. Shostakovich String Quartet No.7 completes the programme.
James Ehnes reunites with Stephen Osborne on 23 August for a recital at the Queen's Hall. Together they explore a programme of works by Brahms, Prokofiev, Debussy and Ravel. This is their second collaboration of the season after a critically acclaimed performance of Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series.
Marin Alsop brings the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Edinburgh for two concerts celebrating Leonard Bernstein's centenary on 24 and 26 August. The first features three works associated with him as a performer: Stravinsky The Firebird, Gershwin Piano Concerto with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Schumann Symphony No.2. The second concert opens with birthday tributes to Bernstein from Berio, John Corigliano and John Williams and features three of Bernstein's works: his Serenade performed by Nicola Benedetti, Symphonic Dances from West Side Story and Three Dance Episodes from On the Town.
Soprano Lise Lindstrom joins Daniel Harding and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra to perform Mahler Symphony No.8 on 26 August. The performance also features the Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the NYCoS National Girls Choir.
Marin Alsop's complete Bernstein recordings released on Naxos
Marin Alsop and Naxos Records mark Leonard Bernstein's centenary this month by releasing a box set collected Alsop's recordings of his works. The collection features Alsop's critically acclaimed recordings of Bernstein's symphonies, Chichester Psalms, Mass and Serenade as well as new and world premiere recordings and an insightful new documentary. The recordings were made with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra as well as soloists including Philippe Quint and Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Alsop was mentored by Bernstein during her development as a conductor and is a noted champion of his work:
"Leonard Bernstein was my hero as a child and my mentor as an adult. Like the man himself, his music transcends barriers and breaks boundaries, reminding us of music's incredible power to speak directly to our souls. Fun, glorious, intense, outrageous, comforting, confrontational, profound... this is the Leonard Bernstein I knew and loved."
Alsop led the London Symphony Orchestra's Bernstein commemorations in November, conducting three critically acclaimed concerts with the orchestra:
“Alsop understands Bernstein’s language better than you suspect he did himself … The effect? Electrifying.”
Spectator, November 2017
“Alsop drew out Mahler’s anguished melodic lines with loving care, making its climactic dissonant outbursts all the more startling. Great music and sterling music-making too.”
Times, November 2017
Alsop continues her Bernstein commemorations throughout the season, with the next performance coming in April when she conducts his Mass at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Chineke! Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. She also conducts concerts of his work with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival.
Marin Alsop opens the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra's season on International Woman’s Day
Marin Alsop opens the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra’s new season with three performances of Mahler Symphony No.7, at the Sala São Paulo on 8, 9 and 10 March 2018.
Alsop is to become the Conductor of Honour for the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in December 2019 at the end of her eight-year tenure, which has included three European tours and numerous recordings including a cycle of Prokofiev symphonies on Naxos. Click here to read the press release issued by he São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Foundation.
Alsop’s recent exploration of Mahler with the LSO in November 2017 was met with acclaim from critics:
“Alsop drew out Mahler’s anguished melodic lines with loving care, making its climactic dissonant outbursts all the more startling. Great music and sterling music-making too.”
Times, November 2017
Intermusica at the Southbank Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Southbank Centre launched its 2018/19 classical season on 30 January 2018, with Intermusica artists and performing throughout the year. Highlights include Marin Alsop continuing her relationship with the Southbank in concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continuing their residency, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos, John Wilson, Kian Soltani and George Li.
Another major highlight of the season is the International Chamber Music Series, which Intermusica co-promotes with the Southbank Centre. This year it opens with a concert from Jordi Savall and his Hesperion XXI and features a concert marking the centenary of author Muriel Spark from the Nash Ensemble, and performances from Leonidas Kavakos and Yuja Wang, the Jerusalem, Artemis and Belcea quartets, and performances of Stockhausen by Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
Nicholas Collon and the Aurora Orchestra continue as Associate Orchestra with three concerts in the new season. The first, on 16 September 2018, pairs a memorized performance of Beethoven Symphony No.5 with HK Gruber's Frankenstein!! in a concert conceived and directed by Jane Mitchell. Their second, on 20 January 2019, is titled Songs from the Road and features Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer, arrangements of folk ballads and the world premiere of Du Yun Where we lost our shadows. Their final concert takes place on 5 June 2019 and features works by Beethoven, Thomas Adès, a Max Richter world premiere and Mozart's Symphony No.41.
Kirill Gerstein renews his partnership with Thomas Adès when he joins the composer and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 26 September to perform Adès' concerto for piano and orchestra, In Seven Days.
Geoffrey Paterson returns to the London Sinfonietta on 13 October to conduct them in a performance of Pascal Dusapin Passion, a collaboration with Music Theatre Wales.
Patricia Bardon returns to the role of Baba the Turk in a performance of Stravinsky The Rake's Progress with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 3 November.
Lahav Shani and Francesco Piemontesi join forces for a concert of Brahms and Beethoven with the Philharmonia Orchestra on 4 November. Shani conducts Weber Oberon Overture, Brahms Symphony No.1 and Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor', with himself as piano soloist.
Marin Alsop makes her first visit of the season on 11 November, conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a performance of Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem. She then returns on 16 January to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a contemporary programme with Colin Currie giving the world premiere of Helen Grime's Percussion Concerto.
John Wilson returns to the Philharmonia Orchestra on 15 November for a concert of Gershwin and Walton. He is joined by Louis Schwizgebel, who performs Gershwin Piano Concerto. Wilson then brings his John Wilson Orchestra to the Southbank Centre on 15 December, leading them in a characteristic programme of music from Hollywood and Broadway. He returns on 18 April to lead the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in a special performance of Gilbert & Sullivan Trial by Jury.
Mary Bevan joins the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Brian Wright for a seasonal performance of Handel's Messiah on 16 December.
Leonidas Kavakos appears at the Southbank Centre's International Chamber Music Series on 18 January alongside Yuja Wang, performing a recital of Mozart, Prokofiev, Bartók and Strauss.
Martyn Brabbins joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 20 January 2019 to conduct an English programme of Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten and the London premiere of Geoffrey Gordon's Prometheus, a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra.
Jacques Imbrailo joins the Mozartists and conductor Ian Page on 29 January for the next concert in their Mozart 250 series, which is themed around the year 1769. Imbrailo sings arias by Gluck, Haydn, Arne, Gréty and Paisiello.
Susan Bickley returns to the Southbank Centre to sing Beethoven Symphony No.9 alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Oliver Gooch on 16 March.
Kian Soltani returns on 23 March after his acclaimed debut at Southbank Centre with the West–Eastern Divan Orchestra. This time he joins Edward Gardner and the London Philharmonic Orchestra to play Elgar Cello Concerto.
George Li joins Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic Orchestra on 27 March to perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, part of a programme that also features Khachaturian Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia and Walton Symphony No.1.
Following a critically acclaimed London conducting debut with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in 2017, Carlos Miguel Prieto returns to lead the young musicians in a concert on 12 April. Prieto conducts an exciting programme of Revueltas, Carlos Chávez and Copland.
Francesco Piemontesi returns to the International Piano Series on 2 May, performing a solo recital of works by Bach, Debussy and Rachmaninov.
Martin James Bartlett joins the Philharmonia Orchestra on 7 May to perform Ravel Piano Concerto in G, part of a programme that also features the world premiere of Cecilia McDowall Da Vinci Requiem.
Marin Alsop appointed Chief Conductor of Vienna RSO from September 2019
Marin Alsop has been announced as the next Chief Conductor at the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1 September 2019 for an initial period of three years. Alsop will conduct the Orchestra in concerts, opera productions, tours, broadcasts and recordings. She succeeds Cornelius Meister.
Celebrated internationally as an inspiring and influential conductor, Alsop’s innovative programming and commitment to audience development across all ages is driven by her passionately held belief that "music has the power to change lives.”
Radio Director Monika Eigensperger and the Managing Director of the Orchestra Dr Christoph Becher recommended the appointment of Marin Alsop as new Chief Conductor of the Vienna RSO to Director-General Dr Alexander Wrabetz, who formally invited Alsop to accept the position.
Dr Alexander Wrabetz comments: “The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra grew artistically under the leadership of Cornelius Meister and increased its reputation both nationally and internationally. Therefore, it was important that we find someone who would be able to continue to inspire and challenge us and we are thrilled to have been able to convince Marin Alsop to take up this position. She is an extraordinary conductor, who will further develop the RSO’s high artistic qualities. With her at the helm we’re in an excellent position for the future.”
Monika Eigensperger comments: “I am delighted that our Orchestra will now have its first female Chief Conductor with Marin Alsop. She has been a pioneer for women and has been the first female Chief Conductor at many orchestras, not least her two current orchestras, the Baltimore and the São Paolo Symphony Orchestras. I’ve long admired Marin and I am very much looking forward to her arrival.”
Marin Alsop on her new appointment: “I am very excited about the prospect of collaborating with Vienna RSO. We share the same enthusiasm for expanding the repertoire and for connecting with new audiences. I am deeply moved by the fact that the players instigated my appointment and I can’t wait to start this journey with them, working closely with the Orchestra’s partners in Vienna, across Austria and beyond.”
Alsop and the Vienna RSO collaborated for the first time in 2014 with a concert of works by Leonard Bernstein and Gustav Mahler. Their next project is a recording in autumn 2018 and she begins her first season as Chief Conductor as the Orchestra celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Dr Christoph Becher comments: “After the Orchestra’s musicians performed with Marin in Vienna in 2014 they unanimously put her forward as their new Chief Conductor. I particularly enjoyed our passionate and extensive exchanges on contemporary music and the importance of concerts for children and young people. I am delighted she has chosen Vienna and our outstanding Radio Symphony Orchestra.”
Cornelius Meister, current Chief Conductor & Artistic Director comments: “I wholeheartedly welcome Marin’s appointment. Of course, I will closely consult with her from now on in any future decision-making. The Vienna RSO will benefit extensively from her international experience and I’m hugely looking forward to being an audience member in her performances with the RSO!”
Both Executive and Artistic Directors of the Wiener Musikverein and Wiener Konzerthaus welcomed Alsop’s appointment.
Matthias Naske, Director of the Wiener Konzerthaus comments: “The Konzerthaus community in Vienna and myself share the view with Marin Alsop that 'music has the power to change lives’ and her relentless quest for artistic excellence. Congratulations on the Orchestra’s choice and we look forward to welcoming the RSO Vienna with their new Chief Conductor at our hall.”
Dr Thomas Angyan, Director of the Wiener Musikverein comments: “Marin Alsop’s appointment is a huge asset to the Orchestra and to Vienna as a city of music. Marin is familiar to Austrian audiences from her performances at the Musikverein. As Director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, I am delighted to welcome Marin Alsop to the Musikverein as the first female conductor to lead the Orchestra that is so dear to Vienna.”
Until the start of her tenure, Marin Alsop holds the title of Chief Conductor Designate.
Marin Alsop receives highest accolade from Association of British Orchestras
Marin Alsop has been given the Association of British Orchestra’s most prestigious award at its annual awards ceremony. The award was announced on the evening of 25 January at the ABO’s annual conference, while a formal presentation will take place at the Royal Festival Hall on 4 February.
Of the award, the ABO said:
“The ABO Award is presented annually to the individual or institution considered by the membership to have made the most important contribution to the orchestral life of the UK. The ABO Award is unique among the many prestigious awards and prizes in the music world because its recipient is nominated by the member orchestras themselves. This year the ABO Board decided to recognise the contribution of one of the world’s leading conductors, who has not only worked with a whole host of ABO members but has also striven to remedy the gender gap for women conductors.”
On receiving the ABO Award, Alsop said:
“It’s an incredible honour to receive this award. I fell in love with British orchestras when I first conducted here in the 1990s; not only are they incredible musicians with an admirable and intense work ethic, they are always a lot of fun. This recognition means a great deal, not only to me, but to everyone I work with. Music has the power to change lives, to challenge, and to inspire and I dedicate this award to the future generation of conductors, musicians and audiences.”
In the UK, Alsop regularly conducts the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She is also dedicated to nurturing young talent and has recently worked with the Britten-Pears Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the Royal Academy of Music. She has in previous years conducted the London Sinfonietta, BBC Philharmonic, CBSO and the Hallé. She was Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra from 2000 to 2008, the first woman to hold such a post with a British orchestra, and will be returning to them in November 2018 for a special Bernstein concert in Chichester Cathedral. And prior to that she was Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the City of London Sinfonia.
In September 2013, she became the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms in its 118-year history. And her commitment to closing the gender gap for conductors has led to her annual Women’s Conducting Masterclass at the Southbank Centre, which has already increased in scope in the four years since it started, with over 200 applicants in 2017 from around the UK and the rest of the world. It next takes place on 7 February 2018 on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall with the BBC Concert Orchestra, just a few days after the formal presentation of the ABO Award on 4 February, when she will be conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in the Royal Festival Hall.
Alsop returns for a UK tour with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Nicola Benedetti, including a concert in London on 4 February at which she will be presented with the award.
Intermusica at the Barbican Centre's 2018/19 classical season
The Barbican Centre revealed its classical music season for 2018/19 on 23 January 2018, and as ever there are many Intermusica artists performing over the season. Highlights include Daniil Trifonov's London Symphony Orchestra Artist Portrait, the visit of Sir Antonio Pappano and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to perform Mahler Symphony No.6 and Sir John Eliot Gardiner's return to the LSO. See below for full details.
Daniil Trifonov is the subject of the LSO's Artist Portrait next season. The Portrait begins in February 2019 when he performs Ravel Piano Concerto with the orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle, and continues in June with a performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto No.5 and a solo recital of works by Beethoven and Prokofiev. It culminates on 16 June with a performance of Shostakovich Concerto No.1 for piano, trumpet and strings.
On 29 September 2018, Ben Gernon conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Holst The Planets, presented by scientist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox.
Sir James MacMillan's All the Hills and Vales Along receives its world premiere from the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Halsey's London Symphony Chorus on 4 November and forms part of the Barbican Centre's series of events commemorating the First World War. Earlier that day, the piece is the focus of an LSO Discovery Day, during which members of the public can attend a morning LSO rehearsal of the MacMillan premiere followed by chamber music and a discussion about creative responses to World War I.
Martyn Brabbins is also involved in the First World War anniversary, conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the world premiere of Cheryl Frances-Hood's Last Man Standing, part of a programme that also includes Bax November Woods and Vaughan Williams Symphony No.4.
Marin Alsop returns to the Barbican on 4 December to continue the Bernstein at 100 celebrations with a concert performance of the composer's Candide. Leonardo Capalbo stars in the title role.
Leonidas Kavakos makes two appearances at the Barbican during the 2018/19 season. In September he joins Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax in bringing their critically acclaimed Brahms Piano Trios to the Barbican Hall. In December, he renews his relationship with Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO when he performs Brahms Violin Concerto.
James Ehnes returns to the Barbican on 18 January 2019, performing Beethoven Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Mary Bevan joins John Butt and the BBC Symphony Orchestra to perform Bach's B minor Mass on 2 February, singing with her sister Sophie Bevan, tenor Samuel Boden and bass-baritone Edward Grint.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner continues his fruitful collaboration with the London Symphony Orchestra in February, conducting two concerts of works by Weber, Mendelssohn and Schumann. Gardiner is joined by soloists Isabelle Faust, Kristian Bezuidenhout and Piotr Anderszewski.
Lahav Shani joins the LSO in February, alongside pianist Simon Trpčeski, for a concert of Weill, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.
Nora Fischer joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Joana Carneiro in concert on 11 May, performing as soprano soloist in a programme of Augusta Read Thomas Radiant Circles, the UK premiere of Golijov Oceana and John Adams Naive and Sentimental Music.
Intermusica brings the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia to the Barbican on 25 May for a concert with their Music Director, Sir Antonio Pappano.
Kian Soltani performs at LSO St Luke's in June, as part of the ECHO Rising Stars tour, for which he was nominated by the Wiener Konzerthaus and Wiener Musikverein.
Marin Alsop to become São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Conductor of Honour
The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Foundation – Fundação Osesp is proud to announce that Music Director Marin Alsop will become Conductor of Honour at the end of her eight-year tenure, in December 2019.
Read the press release issued by The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra Foundation here.
Marin Alsop conducts world premiere of Rouse Berceuse Infinie with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop ends the month in Baltimore, where she conducts the world premiere of Christopher Rouse Berceuse Infinie with her Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on 30 November 2017. Rouse's new work is paired with Mozart Requiem, and there is a repeat performance on 3 December.
Alsop has long been an advocate of Rouse’s work, describing it as “relevant, visceral, moving and thrilling – music that can change people, music that makes time stop." She also recorded two discs dedicated entirely to his music during her tenure as Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra between 1993 and 2005. She also made her London Symphony Orchestra debut with an all-Rouse programme in 1998, a long-standing relationship that most recently saw Alsop conduct the opening concerts of the orchestra's Bernstein centenary celebrations in November with three “electrifying” (Spectator) concerts.
Click here to watch a clip of Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Christopher Rouse Rapture.
Marin Alsop leads London Symphony Orchestra’s Bernstein celebration with Simon Halsey’s London Symphony Chorus
Marin Alsop joins forces with the London Symphony Orchestra and Simon Halsey and his London Symphony Chorus to mark the centenary of Leonard Bernstein, with concerts on 4, 5 and 8 November 2017. Alsop conducts these three celebration concerts at the Barbican, starting off worldwide celebrations of the composer and conductor, who had close relationships with both Alsop and the LSO. Bernstein was President of the orchestra between 1987 and 1990 and was a close mentor and friend to Alsop:
"Leonard Bernstein was a thinker, teacher, author, television star, provocateur, humanitarian – and he was my hero”.
Alsop launches the Bernstein 100 celebrations on 4 November with a family concert, paying homage to Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts televised on CBS, and to the lighter side of his repertoire. The programme includes the Overture from Candide, Three Dance Episodes from On the Town and West Side Story Symphonic Dances, as well as an exploration of klezmer and children’s themes in Mahler Symphony No.1.
Mahler was central to Bernstein’s life as composer and conductor and Alsop conducts his first symphony on 8 November, along with Bernstein’s own first symphony; and on 5 November, Alsop combines Mahler with Bernstein again with the Adagio from Mahler Symphony No.10 and Bernstein Symphony No.3 ‘Kaddish’, featuring Tiffin Boys’ Choir and the London Symphony Chorus, directed by Simon Halsey, and with the Kaddish narrated by world-renowned actor Claire Bloom CBE. Halsey's involvement with the Bernstein 100 celebrations continues in December, when his London Symphony Chorus joins Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO to perform Wonderful Town.
Alsop recently released recordings of all three Bernstein symphonies on Naxos, to be joined in a box set for the centenary including her GRAMMY award winning recording of Bernstein Mass. She takes a central role in Bernstein celebrations throughout 2018 with fully stage performances of the Mass with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at Southbank Centre, where she is Artist in Residence, and with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, where she is Musical Curator for 2018 and 2019.
Click here to read a full feature about Bernstein written by Marin Alsop for the LSO’s celebrations.
Marin Alsop awarded the Ditson Conductor's Award by Columbia University
Marin Alsop has awarded the 2017 Ditson Conductor’s Award for the advancement of American music by Columbia University. The award was presented to Alsop during Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 season opening weekend by Paul Moravec, Pulitzer Prize winner in music.
Secretary of the Ditson Fund, Fred Lerdahl, said: “Marin Alsop is legendary for her sustained advocacy of contemporary American music. She is deeply committed to it and performs it with enormous insight and flair”.
Upon announcement of the award, Alsop said: “It’s an absolute privilege to be honoured with the 2017 Ditson Conductor’s Award. Performing the works of American composers has always been important to me, and I will continue to support the exceptional music that is being written.”
Established in 1945, past recipients of the award include James Levine, Alan Gilbert, David Zinman and Leonard Bernstein.
Marin Alsop conducts Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony with Budapest Festival Orchestra
Marin Alsop makes her debut with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in three concerts on 4, 5 and 6 October 2017, conducting a programme of Shostakovich Symphony No.7 ‘Leningrad’ and Sibelius Violin Concerto with violinist Alina Pogostkina. The concerts mark not only her debut with the orchestra, but also its first time welcoming a woman to conduct. On 5 October Alsop also conducts a ‘Midnight Music’ concert at the Castle Bazaar (Várkert Bazar) for a young audience, in which Alsop discusses and conducts selected movements from the ‘Leningrad’ symphony.
Speaking about conducting the orchestra, Marin Alsop writes:
“I am a huge admirer of Iván Fischer and I love the ‘out of the box’ approach he and his musicians have towards the repertoire and towards the industry. The concerts I have heard have been fresh and thrilling. This is what music should be! I am very excited to work on this monumental piece, Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony, with the orchestra. The work is a journey and an important reflection of our world and shared history.”
Alsop recently conducted a “towering performance” (Sunday Times) of the Shostakovich with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall in February 2017.
Click here to watch her conduct the symphony with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Marin Alsop conducts Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's season-opening gala with Wynton Marsalis
Marin Alsop opens the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 2017/18 season on 9 September 2017 after 10 years as Music Director. They begin the season with a concert featuring nine-time Grammy® Award-winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and jazz musicians Dan Nimmer (piano), Carlos Henriquez (bass) and Ali Jackson (drums), described by the orchestra as “the perfect pairing of legendary jazz and classical musicians in a celebration of America’s art form”.
This evening also features actor Wendell Pierce, known for his role as Bunk Moreland in seminal Baltimore-set drama The Wire, as their Master of Ceremonies.
In the orchestra’s first full subscription week of the season, Alsop conducts works by Tchaikovsky, Rodrigo and John Adams, including the East Coast premiere of Lola Montez Does the Spider Dance, written by Adams for Marin Alsop and commissioned by the musicians of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music to mark her 25th and final year as the festival’s Music Director in 2016.
The outstanding success Alsop has shown as Music Director in Baltimore has been recognised by two extensions in her tenure, now confirmed until 2021. She continues as Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra until the end of 2019.
Marin Alsop leads the National Youth Orchestra of the USA on tour in South America
Marin Alsop joins the National Youth Orchestra of the USA this month to lead them in a tour of Central and South America. The tour is preceded by the orchestra's annual performance at Carnegie Hall on 21 July 2017.
Alsop conducts a programme that includes a new work commissioned by Carnegie Hall from Gabriela Lena Frank and Mahler Symphony No.1.
Following the concert at Carnegie Hall, the tour continues to Auditorio Telmex in Mexico City on 26 July, Teatro Nacional Sucre Ecuador on 30 July and Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo in Colombia on 3 August.
Marin Alsop named Honorary Doctor of Music by Yale University
Marin Alsop has been named an Honorary Doctor of Music by Yale University. Alsop received her doctorate alongside former US Secretary of State John Kerry, Congressman John Lewis and musician Stevie Wonder at Yale's commencement ceremony on 22 May 2017.
Alsop is a graduate of The Juilliard School and also holds a number of other honorary doctorates including from the University of Sheffield, Bournemouth University and Birmingham City University. She was recently made an Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge University.
Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2005, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honoured with a European Women of Achievement Award and in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, London and the Royal Philharmonic Society, and was recently appointed Director of Graduate Conducting Program at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute.
Renaud Capuçon returns to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop
Renaud Capuçon and Marin Alsop end the month in concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, performing at the Royal Festival Hall on 27 February 2017. Alsop conducts the orchestra in a programme of Copland Fanfare for the Common Man and Shostakovich Symphony No.7 'Leningrad', with Capuçon joining them as the soloist for Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
Capuçon and the RPO reunite in April when they perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto again at Capuçon's Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence.
Marin Alsop gives lecture at Oxford University's Women of Achievement series
Marin Alsop gives a lecture at Oxford's Holywell Music Room on 24 February 2017 as part of Oxford University's Women of Achievement series. Alsop's lecture, entitled ‘Leading by example: my path to the podium’, follows talks given by Baroness Valerie Amos, the Director of SOAS, and Katherine Viner, Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian.
Oxford University's Women of Achievement lecture series aims to raise the profile of women of high achievement and increase the range of role models accessible to women at Oxford, and challenge and inspire the entire Oxford community. It is funded by the Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity Fund and is hosted by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Louise Richardson.
Following the lecture, Alsop returns to London to conduct the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and fellow Intermusica artist Renaud Capuçon at the Royal Festival Hall on 27 February.
Intermusica artists star in the Southbank Centre's 2017/18 Classical Season
Intermusica artists star in the Southbank Centre's 2017/18 classical season, which was announced on 26 January 2017.
Highlights of the new season include Marin Alsop conducting Bernstein Mass with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Kian Soltani performing in memory of Jacqueline du Pré with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. The Intermusica co-promoted International Chamber Music Series features James Ehnes leading Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time, Danielle de Niese performing with the Navarra String Quartet and Colin Currie marking the re-opening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall with a world premiere of a new work by Harrison Birtwistle. Boris Giltburg and George Li give solo recitals as part of the long-running International Piano Series, Nicholas Collon conducts Aurora Orchestra in the finale of Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Ligeti in Wonderland festival, and Kian Soltani makes a second appearance alongside Brett Dean for a performance of Schubert Trout Quintet.
28 October 2017
Kian Soltani & West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, cond. Daniel Barenboim / Strauss Don Quixote
14 November 2017
James Ehnes, Steven Osborne, Alban Gerhardt & Jean Johnson / Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time
28 February 2018
Boris Giltburg / Brahms, Shostakovich & Rachmaninov
20 March 2018
George Li / Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Chopin & Liszt
6 & 7 April 2018
Marin Alsop & the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain / Bernstein Mass
19 April 2018
Colin Currie & Nicholas Hodges / Morton Feldman, Stockhausen & Harrison Birtwistle
27 April 2018
Danielle de Niese & Navarra String Quartet / Albert Roussel, Schubert & Ernest Chausson
13 May 2018
Nicholas Collon & Aurora Orchestra / Ligeti
For more information and to book tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.
Marin Alsop conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra's Total Immersion concert for Philip Glass
Marin Alsop returns to London this month to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a programme of music by Philip Glass on 28 January 2016 at London’s Barbican Centre. The concert is part of the BBC’s Total Immersion Day celebrating the composer’s music for his 80th birthday.
The programme features his choral work Itaipú, for which Alsop and the BBC SO are joined by the BBC Symphony Chorus, and the UK première of his Concerto for Two Pianos with pianist siblings Katia and Marielle Labèque.
The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
Participants in Marin Alsop’s masterclass at Southbank Centre for women conductors will attend the concert.
Marin Alsop leads Women's Conducting Masterclass at the Southbank Centre
Marin Alsop returns to London this month to lead a half day masterclass for aspiring women conductors at the Southbank Centre on 27 January 2017. The masterclass takes place on the floor of the Clore Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall and is open to the public. Five participants have the chance to conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra under instruction from Alsop in music by Beethoven and Barber.
In addition to the masterclass, Alsop takes part in a Q&A session with Gillian Moore, Head of Classical Music at Southbank Centre, and the five participants also give a public lunchtime performance at 1pm as part of the Southbank Centre's commitment to increasing the visibility of women in classical music.
This masterclass is the third in a series, which began in the 2014/15 season, first with two pianos and secondly with the BBC Concert Orchestra joined by members of the Southbank Centre’s Women of the World orchestra.
Marin Alsop conducts Beethoven Symphony No.9 at Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Beethoven Weekend
Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra celebrate the culmination of the orchestra's centenary with three performances of Beethoven Symphony No.9 on 18, 19 and 20 November 2016.
The symphony is joined on the programme by John Adams Absolute Jest and a new work by TJ Cole, Double Play. This composition, receiving its world première at the concert on 18 November, was commissioned for the BSO and Music Director Marin Alsop by Classical Movements, Inc. as part of the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program.
Alongside the BSO's centenary, the orchestra have been marking Alsop's 10th season as Music Director of the orchestra.
Marin Alsop opens the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's new season with Itzhak Perlman
Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra open their 2016/17 season with a Gala Celebration Concert on 17 September 2016.
Itzhak Perlman joins Alsop and the orchestra for Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, part of a programme that also featuresthe world première of a BSO centenary commission from Caroline Shaw, Baltimore Bomb.
The Gala closes with a performance of ‘Ode to Joy’ from Beethoven Symphony No.9 featuring the orchestra’s OrchKids and OrchLab students.
On its centenary commission series, the Baltimore Symphony writes:
“Ten American composers have each composed a short celebratory work to be presented during the Centennial season. These include TJ Cole, Kristen Kuster, Lori Laitman, Libby Larsen, Caroline Shaw, Joan Tower, James Lee III, Jonathan Leshnoff, Christopher Rouse and Christopher Theofanidis. Chosen themes for the commissions include: fanfare for the uncommon woman, earth, death of Poe and dancing blue crabs. These Celebration Centennial works have been commissioned for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop by Classical Movements, Inc. as part of the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program.”
"Energetically passionate, serious and life-affirming": Marin Alsop & the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo on tour in Europe
In August 2016 Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra returned to Europe, bringing Brazilian flair to three of the continent’s greatest festivals in the year of the Rio Olympics Games.
The orchestra was joined by fellow South American Gabriela Montero as they performed in Edinburgh, London and Lucerne. Programmes featured Grieg Piano Concerto, Bernstein Chichester Psalms and Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances. The tour also included Brazilian popular music performed with the São Paulo Jazz Orchestras and conducting masterclasses at the Lucerne Academy.
Read a round-up of reviews below, and visit the following links to watch clips and performances, as well as ‘Life and work at the São Paulo SO’:
“Alsop and the São Paulo SO gave a barnstorming account of the work, energetically passionate, serious and life-affirming.”
“Under Alsop’s direction, genial, firm and expert, the dynamics were so wide and well controlled that every essential detail could be heard.”
“Alsop’s gestures signalled urgency and passion”
“Alsop was utterly cool on the podium: decisive, clear, brisk with tempos, totally in control… Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony was taught, direct and vibrant, superbly paced to ramp up tension and hit climaxes blazing.”
“Alsop, conducting without a score, judged the whole thing beautifully.”
Seen and Heard International
Marin Alsop, Simon Halsey & Alisa Kolosova join the OAE for Verdi Requiem at the Proms
Marin Alsop makes her third appearance at the BBC Proms this summer for the final symphonic concert of the festival, a performance of Verdi Requiem with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on 9 September 2016.
They are joined by Alisa Kolosova, making her Proms debut, who performs alongside Tamara Wilson, Michael Fabbiano, Morris Robinson and the Proms Youth Choir. This choir is formed from around the country with singers from the CBSO Youth Chorus, University of Birmingham Voices, National Youth Choir of Wales, University of Aberdeen Chamber Choir and the BBC 10 Pieces Choir, all under the direction of Simon Halsey. The Proms Youth Choir under Halsey’s direction were lauded in 2015 for their “commitment and vocal brilliance” by the Neue Zürcher Zeitung for their performance at the Lucerne Festival with the Vienna Philharmonic.
This concert takes place the night before the Last Night of the Proms, where Alsop made history in 2013 as the first woman to conduct this famous closing event of the festival, watched by millions around the world. She returned to conduct the Last Night in 2015 and has conducted at the BBC Proms on many occasions, including numerous performances with the OAE.
Click here to listen to an excerpt of her 2015 BBC Proms appearance with the OAE, praised by the Guardian for its “immediacy, tremendous energy and superbly finessed detail.”
Earlier this summer, Marin Alsop and Intermusica brought the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, where she is Music Director, to the BBC Proms for two concerts on 24 August, alongside performances at the Edinburgh International and Lucerne festivals.
Marin Alsop & the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra tour to BBC Proms, Edinburgh International & Lucerne festivals
Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra travel to Europe this month to appear at three of Europe's major festivals, starting with a performance at the Edinburgh International Festival on 22 August 2016. Alsop conducts a programme of Bernstein Chichester Psalms, Villa-Lobos Chôrus No.10 'Rasga o coraçâo' and Shostakovich Symphony No.5 at Usher Hall.
On 24 August, Alsop and the Orchestra arrive in London for two performances at the BBC Proms. For the first, they are joined by Gabriela Montero for Grieg Piano Concerto alongside Nobre Kabbalah, Villa-Lobos Bachianas brasileiras No. 4 and Rachamaninov Symphonic Dances. Immediately after the concert, Alsop conducts the strings of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo Jazz Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Brazilian popular music.
The tour culminates on 26 August at the Lucerne Festival, where they repeat the programme from the Royal Albert Hall.
22 August 2016
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms
Villa-Lobos: Chôrus No.10 'Rasga o coraçâo'
Shostakovich: Symphony No.5 in D minor
24 August 2016, 19:00
Royal Albert Hall, London
Grieg: Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op.16
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas brasileiras, No.4
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op.45
24 August 2016, 22:15 (Prom 52)
Royal Albert Hall, London
Popular Brazilian music from the past 100 years
26 August 2016
KKL Concert Hall, Lucerne
Grieg: Concerto for Piano in A minor, Op. 16
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas brasileiras, No.4
Rachmaninov: Symphonic Dances, Op.45
Marin Alsop’s final Cabrillo Festival as Music Director for 25 years
Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, America’s longest running festival dedicated to new music for orchestra, begins its 54th season on 31 July 2016. The 2016 Festival will be Marin Alsop’s final year as she steps down as Music Director after 25 years.
Alsop concludes her tenure at Cabrillo, Santa Cruz with a series of premiere-filled concerts, featuring works by celebrated and rising young composers – among them John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Sir James MacMillan, Anna Clyne, Mason Bates, Jennifer Higdon and Kevin Puts – whose talents she has fostered during her remarkable time with the Festival.
Speaking to the East Bay Times, Alsop describes Cabrillo as a “wonderful oasis”:
“At the same time, there are other things I’d like to pursue. I feel that I’ve gotten the festival to a place where I’m extremely proud of what I’ve done. But it’s time for a new vision. I think it's a perfect moment for me to move on at a peak that ensures the festival’s longevity.”
Her approach has always been “bringing together composers who have some kind of relationship with the orchestra and the audience, along with young, up-and-coming composers.”
Among this season’s highlights are several world premieres including a new symphonic ballet by Anna Clyne, choreographed by Kitty McNamee and danced by members of Hysterica Dance Company; Spider Dance by John Adams, commissioned in honour of Marin Alsop by the musicians of the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra; a Festival-commissioned work by emerging composer Michael Kropf; and the West Coast premiere of Kevin Puts The City.
For the last 25 years as conductor, Music Director, and guiding light of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Alsop has championed new music, nurtured artists and audiences and raised the Festival to international stature. This year’s evening orchestral concerts are all named in her honour: Power & Devotion, Inspiration & Impact, Courage & Connection, Memory & Meaning.
In addition to the featured evening concerts, the Festival continues the tradition of hosting open rehearsals, pre-rehearsal talks, and the Conductors/Composers Workshop, a professional training program focusing on the creation and performance of new music. To find out more visit the Cabrillo Festival website.
A look back at Marin Alsop’s 25 years at Cabrillo:
International Tours' summer season has arrived
This summer Intermusica delivers seven high profile tours visiting the United States, Asia and the three great European festivals: the BBC Proms and the Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals. Featuring performances from world-class ensembles including Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Hallé and the Choir of King's College Cambridge, the tours demonstrate the breadth of Intermusica’s work: the type of concert we deliver, the range of ensembles we work with and the global territories we reach.
The Hallé and Music Director Sir Mark Elder begin the summer with a landmark tour of China to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. Starting in Manchester's twin city of Wuhan on 12 July, the tour then continues on to the Shanghai Grand Theatre (14 and 15 July) and the NCPA, Beijing (16 and 17 July). The orchestra performs a range of works inspired by Shakespeare's plays, with the centrepiece of the tour being the Chinese premiere of Walton's Scenes from Henry V at Shanghai Grand Theatre on 15 July.
The Choir of King's College, Cambridge begins its summer with a performance at the BBC Proms with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on 17 July, before performing at the Musica Mundi Festival in Belgium the following day. On 27 July the choir and music director Stephen Cleobury then return to China for a tour featuring performances in Hong Kong and Beijing.
Intermusica also brings Jérémie Rhorer and his period-instrument ensemble Le Cercle de l'Harmonie to London for their debut at the BBC Proms on 22 July. Rhorer conducts his ensemble in a programme of Mozart and Mendelssohn with soprano Rosa Feola.
August sees the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Sir Antonio Pappano open the Edinburgh International Festival with a performance of dramatic Italian repertoire on 6 August, followed by a performance with Boris Berezovsky on 7 August.
The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra form the centrepiece of the 50th anniversary celebrations of New York's Mostly Mozart Festival with performances of Cosi fan tutte and Idomeneo conducted by René Jacobs and Louis Langrée. The orchestra then returns to Europe for three performances of Aix-en-Provence's production of Cosi fan tutte at the Edinburgh International Festival with Jérémie Rhorer on 25, 27 and 28 August.
Intermusica brings Marin Alsop and the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra to Europe for performances at Edinburgh, the Proms and the Lucerne Festival on 22, 24 and 26 August. Immediately after their Proms performance, Alsop and the orchestra's string players are joined by the São Paulo Jazz Symphony Orchestra for a late-night Prom bringing the spirit of the 2016 Rio Olympics to the Royal Albert Hall.
The Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Herbert Blomstedt also perform at Edinburgh this year, closing the festival with two concerts at Usher Hall on 26 and 27 August. They then continue on to London for a Prom with Sir András Schiff on 29 August, before finishing the month with a concert at De Doelen, Rotterdam on 30 August.
BBC announces Get Playing Virtual Orchestra conducted by Marin Alsop
The BBC launched its Get Playing virtual orchestra on 24 May 2016, giving amateur musicians and music lovers the chance to be part of the Last Night of the Proms celebrations on 10 September. The orchestra will be led by Marin Alsop and also features musicians from the Royal Academy of Music and comedian and keen amateur pianist David Baddiel.
The BBC is encouraging musicians and lapsed players over the age of 16 to upload a short video of themselves playing The Toreador Song from Bizet Carmen to the BBC Get Playing website by 27 August. The videos will be edited together into a unique three minute performance that will be shown on BBC iPlayer and on big screens at Proms in the Park around the country.
The virtual orchestra is part of the BBC Get Playing campaign, which aims to inspire amateur music lovers everywhere throughout the summer. In addition to television programmes on BBC Two and BBC Four, the BBC will provide six special online masterclasses from musicians including James Rhodes (piano), Alison Balsom (trumpet), Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Thomas Gould (violin), Courtney Pine (saxophone) and Nitin Sawhney (guitar).
Commenting on the initiative, Alsop said:
“For me it’s incredibly important to support amateur musicians because music is a way to connect, communicate, transcend barriers, transcend differences and perhaps it’s a way to promote tolerance and peace in a world that desperately needs it.”
Cassian Harrison, Head of BBC Four, said:
"Get Playing aims to ignite and celebrate a new wave of amateur music making across the country, uniting music lovers young and old and getting them involved in the spectacular Last Night of the Proms celebrations, one of the biggest musical events in the world.”
Visiting Marin Alsop & the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s OrchKids programme
Marin Alsop launched ‘OrchKids’ in 2008, one year into her role as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Run year-round, it is a music programme provides music education, instruments, meals and mentorship to the city’s neediest young people, every day during and after school. Today, the scheme serves over 1,000 children across various schools at no cost to students and families.
At the end of February, Intermusica’s Managing Director Stephen Lumsden visited Baltimore to see first-hand Alsop and the orchestra’s inspiring work in Baltimore’s communities. He described the classes as “mind-blowing”, with students of “exceptional talent and skill”. See some of his photos from the trip below.
The programme is designed to create social change and nurture promising futures for youth in Baltimore City neighbourhoods and OrchKids regularly perform with the BSO, as well as with artists including Roger Waters, Renee Fleming and Hillary Hahn.
Read more about the scheme on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra website.
Marin Alsop conducts West Side Story in Queens with Weill Music Institute
Marin Alsop conducts Bernstein West Side Story (directed by Amanda Dehnert) in three performances on 4, 5 and 6 March 2016, presented by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Performed at the Knockdown Center, a restored factory in Queens, New York, the cast is made up of a mixture of professional artists and local community members and high schoolers, reflecting the WMI’s mission of supporting music in the community and around the world. The performances form the cornerstone of The Somewhere Project, a unique creative learning project in celebration of the WMI’s 125th anniversary season: click here to see a playlist of videos explaining and exploring the project.
Throughout the 2015/16 season, the WMI has supported the creation of new works by students and community members, each inspired by “Somewhere,” the classic song from West Side Story. This original music has been featured in free Carnegie Hall Neighbourhood Concerts in all five boroughs of New York City.
An open companion course was created as well, offering free resources and interviews with the world’s top experts on West Side Story, including Alsop, as well as creative challenges, printable resources, discussion prompts and further reading to explore.
Alsop has a long association with Bernstein and his music, starting when she became his protégée, winning the Leonard Bernstein Conducting Fellowship, and growing into a long-standing musical relationship. His music has played a central role in her development as a conductor; she is one of its strongest and best-respected advocates, performing his works across the world. Notable performances of his music by Alsop in the past years have included Mass with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2008 (“[Alsop creates] a dramatic slipstream that is powered relentlessly onwards” Gramophone); a season-long project in 2009/10 celebrating his work, curated by Alsop, and the New York Philharmonic’s debut performances of Candide in 2004 and 2012.
Marin Alsop leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra centenary celebrations at Joseph Meyerhoff Hall
Marin Alsop leads the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in a special anniversary concert at the Joseph Meyerhoff Hall on 11 February 2016 as the orchestra celebrates its 100th birthday.
The concert is the highlight of a series of Anniversary Week events taking place from 10 to 14 February, marking the orchestra’s inaugural concert that took place on 11 February 1916.
The program for the Anniversary Concert includes an arrangement of a Suite from Bernstein West Side Story with violinist Joshua Bell, Gershwin Cuban Overture, Ravel Boléro and Mothership by Mason Bates, followed by a champagne toast. The orchestra are joined by celebrity guests to recount the BSO’s storied history and offer a glimpse into the future of the orchestra.
On 12, 13 and 14 February, Joshua Bell joins Alsop and the orchestra for three further concerts, with the Saturday concert at The Music Center at Strathmore playing host to the BSO’s annual gala. The program features Rossini Overture to William Tell, R. Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra and Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.
To explore the BSO centenary season, click here to visit their special birthday website and discover their history, find out about all the centenary events and be a part of the story.
Marin Alsop has been Music Director of the BSO since 2007 and her contract was recently extended until 2021.
Marin Alsop conducts the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment for Southbank Centre's Changing Minds Festival
Marin Alsop returns to the UK this February for concerts with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment on 4 and 6 February 2016 at the Anvil, Basingstoke and Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.
The programme for the concerts focusses on the music of Schumann, including his Symphony No.3 ‘Rhenish’ and rarely performed Violin Concerto with Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The concerts form part of Southbank Centre’s ‘Changing Minds’ Festival, an examination of mental health and the arts, and Schumann's music was chosen as he suffered from lifelong mental illness.
Alsop and Duchen discuss the subject further on BBC Radio 4's Woman’s Hour on 4 February, and Alsop also speaks on In Tune on BBC Radio 3 with Patricia Kopatchinskaja on 5 February. Alsop also takes part in a pre-concert talk with Gillian Moore and Dr Robert Samuels before the concert at the Royal Festival Hall.
Alsop works regularly with the OAE, most recently at the BBC Proms in September 2015 for a programme of Brahms:
“Alsop conducted with the immediacy that characterises her Brahms as a whole... [the orchestra] played with tremendous energy and superbly finessed detail.”
Guardian, September 2015
Marin Alsop conducts UK premiere of MacMillan's Women of the Apocalypse at the Barbican Centre
Marin Alsop returns to London to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert at the Barbican centre on 4 December 2015. The programme includes the UK premiere of Sir James Macmillan's Woman of the Apocalypse. Alsop and Macmillan have a long-standing musical relationship: Alsop conducted the world premiere of Woman of the Apocalypse at the Cabrillo Festival in 2012, and earlier this year, she premiered his second percussion concerto with Colin Currie, also at the Cabrillo Festival. In 2003, she conducted the CBSO in the 300th performance of his first percussion concerto, also with Colin Currie.
The programme is completed by Judith Bingham’s oboe concerto The Angel of Mons with oboist Nicholas Daniel, and Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5.
Following the concert at the Barbican, Alsop leads a masterclass for women conductors at Southbank Centre on 5 December. The masterclass features five young, UK based conductors who will conduct the BBC Concert Orchestra. This is the second masterclass for women conductors in a series by Southbank Centre, linked to their Women of the World Festival, which happens each March.
Speaking about this masterclass, her concert with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and more broadly about equality in the music industry, Alsop appears on the following programmes, available live and on catch-up:
Marin Alsop makes Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut in three concerts at Symphony Center
Marin Alsop makes her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra this month, conducting three concerts on 27, 28 and 29 November 2015 at the Symphony Center, Chicago. The programme opens with Masquerade by Anna Clyne and also includes Barber Essay No.2 for Orchestra, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue performed by Jon Kimura Parker and Dvořák Symphony No.7.
Clyne was recently announced as Composer in Residence at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where Alsop is Music Director, and Masquerade was given its world premiere by Alsop and the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the 2013 Last Night of the Proms, described by Seen & Heard International as a “lively, fresh, at times cinematic piece”.
Alsop returned to conduct the Last Night of the Proms earlier this year – click here to watch a clip.
Marin Alsop conducts three concerts with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center
Marin Alsop returns to the Philadelphia Orchestra for concerts at the Kimmel Center on 29, 30 and 31 October 2015.
The programme for each includes Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue with Gershwin specialist Jon Kimura Parker. Together they play the original version of the piece, which was commissioned by the legendary bandleader Paul Whiteman. Alsop previously recorded the piece with Jean-Yves Thibaudet for Decca Classics in 2010. The orchestra also performs Shostakovich Symphony No.5 and Schoenberg's orchestration of Debussy Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune.
Click here to watch Alsop speak about her relationship with the orchestra in 2011, when she described how it “gave her a chance early on in her career”.
Marin Alsop to conduct concert in Havana celebrating city’s 500th anniversary
On Friday October 9, Marin Alsop will lead a special concert in the City of Havana to celebrate the 500th anniversary of its founding.
Marin will conduct the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Cuba with pianists Chucho Valdés, and Lang Lang, a United Nations Messenger of Peace, as soloists, performing works by Tchaikovsky, Elgar, George Gershwin, James P. Johnson and Cuban Composers Ernesto Lecuona, A.M. Romeu, Chucho Valdés. Marin, Lang Lang, and Chucho Valdés are donating their services for this concert as a gift to the people of Havana.
The outdoor concert will take place in the Plaza de la Catedral, in historic old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The setting, one of Havana’s most noted public squares at the center of the life of the City, was chosen for its inherent purpose as a meeting place, and its open atmosphere as a site for musical collaboration.
Click here to see the full programme for the concert.
"A homecoming": Marin Alsop & Danielle de Niese at the Last Night of the Proms
Marin Alsop and Danielle de Niese joined Jonas Kaufmann, Benjamin Grosvener and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and choir for a hugely successful Last Night of the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall.
Alsop, conducting her second Last Night, led the orchestra in an eclectic programme that included the specially-commissioned Arise, Athena! by Eleanor Alberga, Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 in F major with Benjamin Grosvener, R. Strauss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche, and Rule Britannia with Jonas Kaufmann, who also sang arias by Puccini and Parry Jerusalem. De Niese sang Delibes Les filles de Cadix and led audiences around the UK in a sing-along medley of hits from The Sound of Music.
The evening was warmly received by audiences and critics alike:
“[Alsop’s] return felt like a homecoming: few conductors would be so much at ease in a programme ranging from Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel to Arvo Pärt to The Sound of Music… Upping the already high opera-star glamour count, soprano Danielle de Niese flirted with the gallery in Delibes’s Les Filles de Cadix”
“Later came the jollifications of the second half, controlled by conductor Marin Alsop with just the right blend of relaxed good humour and brisk authority. Her contribution to the programming was evident in the James P Johnson, Gershwin and jazz numbers (in which Benjamin Grosvenor showed an unexpected talent for stride piano). Danielle de Niese wowed us with some sultry Delibes and led a singalong of favourites from The Sound of Music.”
“From the very first number it was clear exactly why she had been asked back for a second turn on the Last Night podium. The James P. Johnson Victory Stride set the tone perfectly, a bold, jazzy number with irresistible rhythms and plenty of breaks for the orchestra’s soloists (all proving remarkably adept to this idiom).”
"and then onto the final soloist of the evening, Danielle de Niese. Her stage presence is extraordinary, captivating"
“Fresh from Hyde Park, Danielle de Niese was playful and flirtatious in Delibes’s Les filles de Cadix… and to celebrate 50 years since The Sound of Music was released we were invited to a sing-along... De Niese, taking the part of Maria, was having a ball.”
“Having conducted with distinction, [Alsop] made an eloquent plea for equality in the music world and in music education in schools. Let’s hope there’s progress on both.”
In the traditional conductor's speech, Alsop highlighted the positive impact of music and also called for more equality in classical music. Click here to read the speech in full.
Last Night of the Proms 2015 with Marin Alsop and Danielle de Niese
Marin Alsop conducts a spectacular Last Night of the BBC Proms on Saturday 12 September 2015 starring Danielle de Niese. Alsop's return follows the tremendous success of her Last Night of the Proms debut in 2013.
De Niese travels straight to the Royal Albert Hall after singing at Proms in the Park in Hyde Park - a historic Last Night of the Proms double header - and performs alongside tenor Jonas Kaufmann and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, with the BBC Singers, BBC Symphony Chorus and BBC Symphony Orchestra. She sings Delibes' Les Filles de Cadix and leads audiences around the UK in a singalong medley from The Sound of Music.
The programme includes Last Night favourites alongside the world premiere of BBC commission Arise, Athena! by Eleanor Alberga, Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 in F major and R. Strauss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche.
In an interview with the Observer last weekend, Alsop described the Last Night as: "a magical experience – the greatest classical music party I’ve ever attended." Watch Marin Alsop’s speech at the Last Night of the Proms 2013 here.
To see the full programme for the Last Night, click here
Marin Alsop conducts Brahms symphonic cycle with São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop joins the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra at the start of the new season to perform the complete symphonies of Brahms in six concerts from 24 September 2015. Alsop conducts the first two symphonies on 24, 25 and 26 September and the third and fourth on 1, 2 and 3 October. As the orchestra’s Music Director, Alsop and the OSESP have already released four recordings in their Prokofiev cycle on Naxos, most recently Symphony No.3, to critical acclaim:
“Conductor Marin Alsop draws firm rhythmic propulsion, rich string sounds and acerbic harmonies from the São Paulo players.”
Daily Telegraph, April 2015
Alsop also recorded the four Brahms symphonies with the London Philharmonic Orchestra between 2005 and 2007, also released on Naxos.
Alsop has also just conducted a programme of Brahms with the Orchestra of the Age of the Enlightenment at the BBC Proms, featuring Academic Festival Overture, Triumphlied and Symphony No.1. Click here to watch the performance.
Marin Alsop appointed Director of Graduate Conducting at Peabody Institute
Marin Alsop has been announced as the new Director of Graduate Conducting at the Peabody Institue of the John Hopkins University, taking over from her former mentor, Gustav Meier. Alsop first joined the Peabody conducting faculty in 2006 as a Distinguished Visiting Artist, and has been recognized for her deep commitment to music education and outreach.
Fred Bronstein, dean of the Peabody Institute, commented:
“We’re simply thrilled that Marin Alsop has agreed to step into this leadership position at Peabody. Her bold vision and innovative approach will further enhance our conducting program – already one of the strongest in the nation – and our students will benefit tremendously from this increased opportunity to work with a conductor of Marin’s caliber… there is no better practitioner than Marin Alsop as exemplified through her commitment to education, community engagement, and an innate talent for making music meaningful to so many different audiences.”
Alsop herself said that “It is an incredible honor to accept this baton from my colleague and friend, master teacher Gustav Meier. His commitment to shaping the talents of young musicians has been an inspiration to me, and I am looking forward to continuing that legacy and working even more closely with the wonderfully gifted students and dedicated fellow faculty at Peabody.”
The highly competitive conducting program at Peabody focuses on orchestral and wind conducting and offers students the opportunity to earn a Master of Music, Graduate Performance Diploma, or Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Many graduates from the program now hold positions with prestigious ensembles in the United States and abroad.
“Tremendous energy and superbly finessed detail”: Marin Alsop’s Brahms at BBC Proms reviewed
Marin Alsop's return to the BBC Proms on 1 September to conduct an all-Brahms programme with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment has been acclaimed in the press - read the reviews below:
"Then came Alsop's magnificent finale, masterfully steered through its shifting speeds, with tension throbbing long before [Adrian] Bending's timpani punched holes in the air."
"The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under the visionary Marin Alsop gave an excellent rendering... Alsop made the orchestra work for this performance, and they pulled out all the stops, allowing Brahms' brilliance to shine"
"Alsop conducted with the immediacy that characterises her Brahms as a whole... [the orchestra] played with tremendous energy and superbly finessed detail"
"Alsop's account of Symphony No.1 was fluent and accomplished in terms of both the scale of its vision, and the detail offered"
Listen again on BBC iPlayer here (available until 1 October). Marin Alsop will return to conduct the Last Night of the Proms on 12 September, joined by tenor Jonas Kaufmann, soprano Danielle de Niese and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor.
Marin Alsop at the BBC Proms 2015
Marin Alsop returns to the BBC Proms in September 2015 to conduct an all-Brahms programme with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Royal Albert Hall on 1 September 2015, followed by the Last Night of the BBC Proms on 12 September. Her return follows the tremendous success of her Last Night of the Proms debut in 2013.
On 1 September, Alsop and the OAE open the concert with a performance of Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture, a work the composer described as “a very boisterous pot-pourri of student songs”, before they are joined by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, the 2013 winner of BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, for Alto Rhapsody. The programme also includes the rarely-performed Triumphlied, which celebrated victory in the Franco-Prussian War of 1871, and finishes with Brahms’s Symphony No.1.
At the Last Night of the Proms on 12 September, Alsop conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and an all-star line-up including tenor Jonas Kaufmann, soprano Danielle de Niese and pianist Benjamin Grosvenor. The programme includes Last Night favourites alongside the world premiere of BBC commission Arise, Athena! by Eleanor Alberga, Shostakovich Piano Concerto No.2 in F major and R.Strauss Till Eulenspiegels lustige Streiche.
Marin Alsop says: “I am truly honoured to be returning to conduct the Last Night of the Proms and to work again with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. I have wonderful memories of the Last Night in 2013 and it’s a dream come true to return again so soon to share my love of classical music with audiences across the UK and around the world. Here’s to another great celebration – it’s certainly like no other!”
Watch Marin Alsop’s speech at the Last Night of the Proms 2013 below.
James Ehnes returns to London Symphony Orchestra with Marin Alsop and gives recital at LSO St Luke's
James Ehnes returns to the London Symphony Orchestra on 7 June 2015 to perform Korngold Violin Concerto with Marin Alsop, who will return to London in September to conduct the Last Night of the Proms. Ehnes’ 2006 recording of the Korngold with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra earned him a 2008 Grammy Award for ‘Best Instrumental Soloist Performance’. The concert is part of the orchestra’s International Violin Festival, and also features works by Bartók and Rachmaninoff either side of the concerto.
Ehnes performs again in London the following week, this time in recital with pianist Steven Osborne at LSO St Luke’s on 11 June. The duo will perform Beethoven Sonata for Violin and Piano No.10 in G major and Brahms Violin Sonata No.3 in D minor, and the performance will be recorded for future broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
Following these performances Ehnes will travel to Moscow where he will sit on the violin jury for the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition alongside fellow Intermusica artist Leonidas Kavakos, who opened the LSO International Violin Festival in April.
Mary Bevan, Colin Currie & Marin Alsop: winners at RPS Music Awards
Mary Bevan and Colin Currie have won RPS Music Awards in the Young Artist and Instrumentalist categories respectively, while Marin Alsop’s Britten War Requiem project at the Southbank Centre has won the Learning and Participation category. They were awarded the prizes, for achievement in the UK during 2014, at a ceremony on 5 May in London where Currie also performed a short marimba solo.
Colin Currie was the focus of the Metal Wood Skin percussion festival at the Southbank Centre from autumn 2014, which saw him perform premieres by Reich, Andriessen, Clyne and MacMillan and lead a variety of education events. The festival received acclaim from the press, the Financial Times praising it for “cutting-edge atmosphere, contemporary works, young audiences.” Currie also launched a new solo recital programme in 2014 at the Wigmore Hall and Sound Festival Aberdeen, including a commission by Rolf Wallin, and his other UK performances included with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Mary Bevan’s 2014 began with Peter Grimes in January at English National Opera, followed by La clemenza di Tito with Classical Opera and Despina in Cosi fan tutte at ENO. In October she triumphed as Susanna in Mozart The Marriage of Figaro, also for ENO, prompting the Times to comment “her Susanna is gloriously acted and stylishly sung: a real coming-of-age” (Times, October 2014). Bevan has also been continually featured on the concert platform, singing with orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Britten Sinfonia.
Britten War Requiem, a project staged by Marin Alsop and Southbank Centre in November 2014, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War and involved students from the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Southbank Voicelab Children’s Choir. Soloists Ben Johnson and Natalia Tanasii also featured in the performance. Eight students from Lilian Baylis School Technology school went on journey to uncover this masterpiece, find out why Britten wrote it and explore the themes of the piece through three chapters: War, Words and Music. Watch the full performance and links to other related videos here.”
Awards in 13 categories are chosen by eminent independent juries from the music profession and are unique in the breadth of musical achievement they span – from performers, composers and inspirational arts organisations to learning, participation and engagement. The list of winners since 1989 reads as a roll call of the finest living musicians.
Marin Alsop conducts Queen Elisabeth Competition finals
Between 25 and 30 May 2015 Marin Alsop will return to conduct the finals of the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR), which this year focuses on violinists. The competition, famous as a platform for launching some of the brightest international careers, will be attended by HM Queen Mathilde and streamed live on ARTE Concert and on Belgian television (Canvas) and radio (Klara).
The twelve finalists will each tackle a concerto, supported by Alsop conducting the National Orchestra of Belgium. The winner receives a prize of €25,000 and is also loaned the “Huggins” Stradivarius by the Nippon Music Foundation for a period of four years.
Alsop is passionate about developing young musical talent and has conducted the finals of the QEC for many years, most recently at the 2013 Piano competition won by fellow Intermusica artist Boris Giltburg. Watch Giltburg and Alsop perform Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No.3 in the final round of the 2013 competition here:
Marin Alsop renews contract as Music Director with São Paulo Symphony Orchestra until end 2019
The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra has announced that Marin Alsop’s contract as Music Director is extended until 31 December 2019. During this period, Alsop’s time with the orchestra will increase with a minimum of twelve weeks per year in São Paulo and touring the orchestra internationally, plus time spent teaching and nurturing young musicians at the Campos do Jordao Festival.
The leading professional orchestra in Latin America, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra since the beginning of Alsop’s tenure three years ago has consolidated its reputation and profile internationally. Alsop has conducted the Orchestra in 118 concerts, playing to an audience of over 270,000 people, engaging both critics and the public with concerts at the orchestra’s iconic home, 11 Brazilian cities and internationally at such iconic venues as the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Philharmonie (Berlin), the Salle Pleyel (Paris), the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Festival Hall (London).
Alsop has embraced the free streaming of concerts given by the orchestra resulting in people around the world being able to enjoy and experience what happens in São Paulo in ways that were never possible previously.
The orchestra, under Alsop’s leadership, has so far released three albums as part of their cycle of the complete symphonies of Prokofiev for Naxos. Other recording projects include the ongoing cycle of Villa-Lobos Symphonies. Brazilian music has also been the focus of the orchestra’s digital label.
The president of the Board of Directors, Fabio Barbosa commented: "We are delighted that Marin has agreed to extend her contract with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and that we can continue to improve and expand the reach of this great body of musicians to even greater numbers of people."
Executive Director of the Orchestra, Marcelo Lopes commented: "We are very happy with the contract extension until the end of 2019. Together we make a great team who are dedicated to always looking at ways to improve the orchestra and to build new audiences for our work.”
Marin Alsop responded: “My work with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra is extremely gratifying work that I’ve ever done and together we’ve not only raised the standards of performances but also taken the Orchestra out to the people of the São Paulo region and internationally. This city is one of the most vibrant and exciting places on the planet right now and it’s thrilling to see the Orchestra take its rightful place at the heart of this great metropolis. I eagerly look forward to seeing where this journey will take us!”
Marin Alsop will continue to work with Arthur Nestrovski, Artistic Director of the Orchestra, on all matters concerning the programming of the Orchestra’s season. Alsop retains her role as Artistic Advisor of the Campos do Jordao Festival, where she not only conducts the Orchestra but devises and runs landmark educational projects that attract young musicians from around the world.
Nestrovski commented: "This is great news for all of us at the São Paulo Symphony as Marin is a powerful conductor who brings to all rehearsals and performances her great experience and unique qualities. She’s also a great partner for discussions on programming and has helped immensely in improving our international profile.”
Future plans include the continuation of the complete cycles of Brahms and Mahler symphonies as well as Alsop’s on-going commitment to the work of living composers which will not only include performances of works by John Adams, James MacMillan and Marc-André Dalbavie, but also of Brazilian composers such as Paulo Costa Lima and Clarisse Assad as well as Villa-Lobos, Camargo Guarnieri and Francisco Mignone. In addition to her work in the orchestra's main season, Alsop has devoted herself to mentoring young Brazilian musicians at the Festival do Campos do Jordao.
Marin Alsop receives Harvard University’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award
Marin Alsop is the recipient of Harvard University’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award. Alsop will visit Harvard University on Tuesday 24 March to participate in a public conversation moderated by Diana Sorensen, Dean of Arts and Humanities, at 4pm at the Harvard Faculty Club, followed by a brief ceremony. The award is a reflection of her values and dedication to music and arts education.
The Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award, which offers an honorarium of $10,000 to a nationally recognized educator and is administered by the Office for the Arts at Harvard through its Learning From Performers program, was established by Professor and Mrs.Ray A. Goldberg and the Max Goldberg Foundation in order to perpetuate the values and teaching skills represented by the late Professor Vosgerchian who, at her retirement from Harvard University in 1990, was the Walter W. Naumberg Professor of Music Emerita in the Department of Music.
The guidelines require that the recipient embody the following qualities: selfless commitment; artistic conscience; a constant renewal of approach to subject matter; ability to motivate in a positive and creative way; a sincere interest in the development of the whole person; and the ability to present musical knowledge in a way that is applicable to other disciplines.
Click here for more information about the Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award
Marin Alsop returns to Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for three concerts
Marin Alsop returns to conduct the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on 15, 16, and 17 January. The three concerts feature Barber Essay No.2, Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2 with violinist Julian Rachlin, and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique’. The performance on 16 January takes place at Kennesaw State University as part of the Orchestra’s extended residency during the 2014/15 season; performances on 15 and 17 January will be in the Atlanta Symphony Hall.
Alsop last conducted the ASO in October 2011, with a programme including Walton Cello Concerto featuring American cellist Alisa Weilerstein.
The concerts with the ASO follow performances in December with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, where Alsop is Music Director. Alsop will conduct the orchestra in season-closing performances of Arvo Pärt Mein Weg and Salve Regina, and Orff Carmina Burana on 18, 19 and 20 December, and finally a performance of Caymmi Suíte Caymmi: História de Pescadores and Orff Carmina Burana on 21 December.
On 9 November Marin Alsop will conduct a Remembrance Sunday performance of Britten War Requiem at London's Royal Festival Hall as part of commemorations for the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. The performance will feature Moldovan-Russian soprano Natalia Tanasii, English tenor Ben Johnson and German baritone Johannes Kammler as soloists, whose nationalities echo the 1962 premiere's intended original trio of Galina Vishnevskaya, Peter Pears and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Heather Harper would eventually replace Vishnevskaya for the premiere, with the Russian returning for Britten's renowned recording) in demonstrating a sense of unity. The soloists are joined under Alsop's baton by the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra, National Youth Choir of Great Britain and Voicelab Children's Choir.
Alsop is Artist in Residence London's Southbank Centre and is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. She conducts the Royal Academy Symphony Orchestra along with the National Youth Choir of Great Britain (Ben Parry, director) and Southbank Voicelab Children's Choir, continuing her commitment to outreach and educational work with young people. Read more about her education work with the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra and with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 'OrchKids', founded by Alsop in 2008.
The concert will be 23 year-old Natalia Tanasii's UK debut. Tanasii graduated from the Republican Academy of Musica and Arts in Chisinau this summer and was immediately invited to join the young ensemble of Den Norske Opera & Ballet. There she will perform a series of roles throughout this season, including Michaela in a new production of Carmen.
This exciting performance takes place in a busy season for Johnson, in which recent and forthcoming highlights include Beethoven's Symphony No.9 with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Oronte Alcina in a tour of concert performances with the English Concert, Alfredo in a revival of La traviata at English National Opera, Evangelist in Bach's St John Passion and St Matthew Passion with the Choir of King's College, Cambridge and the Bach Choir respectively. He will also make his house debut at the Berliner Staatsoper, singing Belmonte in Die Entführung aus dem Serail.
The performance will form part of the Southbank Centre's Remembrance Sunday programme, with related talks and workshops occurring throughout the day.
Following her triumphant appearance conducting the Last Night of the Proms in 2013, Marin Alsop returned to the Royal Albert Hall on 4 September to conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra again.
At the concert, Alsop was presented with Honorary Membership of the the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) by composer and RPS trustee Colin Matthews. Honorary membership is awarded to "exceptional" musicians and has been awarded fewer than 140 times in the society's 200-year history – and to figures from Weber, Berlioz, Toscanini and Stravinsky.
The programme featured Mahler Symphony No.1 and two works by John Adams. A champion of Adams’s music – with a recent recording of Nixon in China (2009) – Alsop conducted Short Ride in a Fast Machine and the UK premiere of his Saxophone Concerto with soloist Timothy McAllister.
Marin Alsop conducted the US premiere of the Saxophone Concerto with her Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in September 2013 and in August 2014 conducted its West Coast premiere at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she is Music Director. The soloist Timothy McAllister “deconstructs” the concerto here and commented on his experience at the festival:
“It's pretty rare that a community gets behind something like that. It's special. They truly understand that, for those two weeks, all the eyes of the world are on Cabrillo and the new music that's being performed there. And they revere Marin Alsop; she's such a rock star in Santa Cruz."
Marin Alsop returns to the Wiener Konzerthaus for her debut with the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien on 4 April. Alsop’s programme pays tribute to her teacher and mentor, Leonard Bernstein, and his own hero, Gustav Mahler, as well as the Viennese connections of these two conductor-composers; both Bernstein and Mahler feature on plaques outside the Konzerthaus. The first half is Bernstein’s Symphony No.1 ‘Jeremiah’ with soloist Elizabeth DeShong, and Marin Alsop conducts Mahler’s Symphony No.1 ‘Titan’ in the second half. The concert is broadcast live on ORF Ö1 radio at 5.30pm GMT.
Her recent release of Mahler’s Symphony No.1 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Naxos was described on Res Musica as “an admirable performance, led with panache and style by a key player in the world of contemporary conductors…Alsop has definitely made her mark in the small world of highly skilled Mahlerians. Her interpretation…is marked by a natural shaping of the musical phrases.”
Alsop returns to Vienna after bringing her São Paulo Symphony Orchestra on tour to the Wiener Konzerthaus earlier this season (October 2013); she made her Viennese debut there with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra the previous year.
Marin Alsop also returns to the Czech Philharmonic for concerts at the Rudolfinum, Prague, on 16, 17 and 18 April. Here she conducts Stravinsky’s The Firebird 1919 Suite, alongside the Barber Violin Concerto with soloist James Ehnes. The second half is Copland’s Third Symphony.
Marin Alsop makes her return to the Cleveland Orchestra with performances on 29, 30 November and 1 December at Severance Hall, and on 3 December at Oberlin College as part of the orchestra’s long-running series there. Alsop conducts Copland’s Third Symphony, with Barber’s Essay No.2 and the Schumann Piano Concerto with soloist David Fray in the first half. This return comes after her hugely successful debut there in December 2011, when she conducted Saint-Saëns’s ‘Organ’ Symphony. The Plain Dealer commented:
“…Alsop in her Cleveland debut made obvious why she's held in such high regard.
…she also revealed her powers over core European repertoire, leading an authoritative performance of Saint-Saens' 'Organ' Symphony No.3…
It's been a great fall in terms of guest conductors, with Alsop bringing up the rear of a parade of brilliant guests who must return, and soon.”
With her own orchestra in Baltimore, Marin Alsop conducts Britten’s War Requiem with concerts on 14, 15 and 16 November, marking the 100th anniversary of the composer’s birth this month. Alsop’s 2013/14 season with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra explores music as a source of solace. Speaking about Britten’s War Requiem, Marin Alsop commented:
“This masterpiece is filled with inspiring moments, especially when the multitudes assembled onstage are playing and singing at full volume. But this complex work also has many tender and mournful moments that truly connect us, reminding us of what we share as members of the human race."
Alongside these performances, Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will explore themes of World War II and 'Art & Destruction' in pre-concert events.
Marin Alsop conducts the 2013 BBC Last Night of the Proms on 7 September. Alsop will lead the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the celebrated finale concert of the festival at the Royal Albert Hall, broadcast live on BBC television and radio, on the BBC’s Big Screens around Britain, as well as to listeners and viewers around the world. Alsop makes history as the first female conductor to conduct the Last Night of the Proms.
In response to the announcement, Marin Alsop said: “As an American, I am doubly excited to be invited to conduct the Last Night of the Proms, since it is such a quintessentially British occasion. I have felt at home from the first moment I conducted in the UK. I always enjoy working with the British orchestral musicians and I’m particularly looking forward to interacting with the audience, who play such a crucial role in making this a night that is utterly unique and special. It is a great honor that I know will be a highlight for me.”
Concluding the festival’s celebrations of Wagner, Verdi and Britten, Alsop’s programme includes Wagner’s Overture to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Verdi’s Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves and Britten’s The Building of the House. The BBC has commissioned young British composer Anna Clyne to write the opening work and there are also works featured by Alsop’s mentor and teacher, Leonard Bernstein, including his Chichester Psalms. British violinist Nigel Kennedy is the soloist in Vaughan Williams’s The Lark Ascending.
The São Paulo Symphony Orchestra makes BBC Proms debut with Marin Alsop
Intermusica brings the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra to the BBC Proms and Aldeburgh Snape Proms for their debut performances in the UK this month. It is a timely visit to London for an orchestra from the country which will host the next Olympiad in 2016.
Marin Alsop, newly appointed Chief Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra brings a Proms programme from North and South America. To begin, Alsop and the orchestra will perform Dvořák Symphony No.9 'From The New World'. The second half of the concert opens with Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man juxtaposed with Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman – a piece dedicated to Alsop. There is also music by Ginastera and distinguished Brazilian pianist Nelson Freire joins the orchestra to perform Villa-Lobos’s Momoprécoce.
Prior to the concert, Marin Alsop and Cathy Graham (Head of Music at the British Council) will be discussing the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and Brazilian musical life with Petroc Trelawny at the Royal College of Music as part of Proms Plus intro event.
Following its Proms debut, the orchestra will travel to Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh, to perform a programme including Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4 and Dvořák Cello Concerto performed by Brazilian cellist, Antonio Meneses.