A conductor of vision and distinction, Marin Alsop represents a powerful and inspiring voice. Convinced that music has the power to change lives, she is internationally recognised for her innovative approach to programming and audience development, deep commitment to education, and advocacy for music’s importance in the world.
The 2023/24 season marks Alsop’s fifth as Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and her first as Artistic Director & Chief Conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony. This season Alsop also takes up the position as Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonia Orchestra in London, with whom she has enjoyed dynamic and fruitful relationship. As Chief Conductor and Curator of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, she conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s summer residency, reflecting her long relationship with Ravinia and the orchestra.
Marin Alsop is in high demand as a guest conductor, and will return to conduct the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in September 2023 for the third time. She regularly appears with such major international orchestras as the Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and the Danish National, Budapest Festival and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras. In 2023/24 she returns to DSO Berlin, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as making her debut appearance at the Metropolitan Opera with Adam’s El Niño and MusikTheater an der Wien with Bernstein’s Candide.
Since 2021 Alsop has been Music Director Laureate and OrchKids Founder at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. This concluded her outstanding 14-year tenure as Music Director, in which she led the orchestra on its first European tour in 13 years, on multiple award-winning recordings and in more than two dozen world premieres, alongside founding OrchKids, its music education program for thousands of the city’s most disadvantaged young people. In 2019, after seven years as Music Director, Alsop became Conductor of Honour of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, where she continues conducting major projects each season.
Recognized with multiple Gramophone Awards, Alsop’s extensive discography includes recordings for Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Sony Classical, and acclaimed Naxos cycles of Brahms with the London Philharmonic, Dvořák with the Baltimore Symphony, and Prokofiev with the São Paulo Symphony. Committed to new music, she was Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music for 25 years. The first and only conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, Alsop has also been honoured with the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award and made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms.
The film ‘The Conductor’ (Tribeca Film Festival 2021) maps Alsop’s life and career through intimate interviews, shared moments in her professional and private life, unseen archival footage with her mentor Leonard Bernstein, and of Alsop teaching the next generation of conductors. Amongst many awards and academic positions, she served as 2020 Artist-in-Residence at Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts, is Director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute and holds Honorary Doctorates from Yale University and the Juilliard School. To promote and nurture the careers of her fellow female conductors, in 2002 she founded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, which has spawned a number of the outstanding young women conductors of today.
Awards & Positions
Association of British Orchestras Award
Champion of New Music Award, American Composers Forum
Classic Brit Award
Conductor Award, Royal Philharmonic Society
Conductor of the Year, Musical America
Crystal Award, World Economic Forum
European Women of Achievement Award
Gramophone Artist of the Year
Honorary Doctorate, Bournemouth University
Honorary Doctorate, Yale University
Honorary Member, Royal Academy of Music
Honorary Member, Royal Philharmonic Society
Koussevitsky Prize, Tanglewood Music Center
Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award, Harvard University
Conductor Emeritus, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Laureate, Eugene Symphony
Director of Graduate Conducting, Peabody Institute
Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Honorary Fellow, Newnham College, University of Cambridge
Music Director Laureate, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
Music Director Laureate, Colorado Symphony
South China Morning Post, February 2019
Marin Alsop ticked all the right boxes...it was luscious and intensely passionate, and showed off the orchestra’s qualities and Alsop’s innate sense of musical space.
Classical Source, January 2019
No praise can be too high for the contribution of Marin Alsop to this concert. She was inspirationally committed to each of the works and was in total command
"If anyone has the courage and power to change the world through music, it’s Marin Alsop."