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 the education and development of audiences of all ages.
Her success as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was recognised when, in 2009, her tenure was extended to 2015. Alsop took up the post of Chief Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra at the start of the 2012 season, and has steered the orchestra in its artistic and creative programming, recording ventures, educational and outreach activities, and touring; including a debut appearance at the BBC Proms - the first ever appearance by a Brazilian orchestra.
Since 1992, Marin Alsop has been Music Director of California's Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she has built a devoted audience for new music.
Building an orchestra is one of Alsop’s great gifts, and she retains strong links with all of her previous orchestras – the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, where she was Principal Conductor from 2002 to 2008 and now holds the post of Conductor Emeritus, and the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, where she was Music Director from 1993 to 2005 and is now Music Director Laureate.
Alsop is a regular guest conductor with the great orchestras of the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Tonhalle Zürich, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Symphony and La Scala Milan. She has a close relationship with both the London Symphony and the London Philharmonic and appears with both orchestras most seasons. She also returns regularly to orchestras such as the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic. Alsop is Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre in London, and in the 2009/10 season, was appointed Artistic Director of the year-long Bernstein Project.
Since taking up her position in Baltimore in September 2007, Marin Alsop has spearheaded educational initiatives that reach more than 60,000 school and pre-school students. In 2008 she launched ‘OrchKids’, which provides music education, instruments and mentorship to the city’s neediest young people, and in 2010 the BSO Academy, where local non-professional musicians work for a week with members of the orchestra.
In 2008 Marin Alsop became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and in the following year was chosen as Musical America’s Conductor of the Year. She is the recipient of numerous awards and is the only conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, the award given by the MacArthur Foundation for exceptional creative work. In 2011 Alsop was made an Honorary Member (Hon RAM) of the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Alsop’s extensive discography, which already includes a notable set of Brahms symphonies with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, is further distinguished by a new Dvořák series, which has been highly praised: “As in her live performances, Alsop’s well-balanced, passionate yet controlled, masterful and authoritative interpretation was remarkable” Neue Musik-Zeitung
Recent recordings include Bernstein’s Mass (Editor’s Choice at the 2010 Gramophone Awards) and John Adams’s Nixon in China, which the Financial Times gave five stars, calling it an “incandescent performance”.
Born in New York City, Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her Master's Degree from The Juilliard School. Her conducting career was launched when, in 1989, she was a prize-winner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition and in the same year was the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein.