A music director of vision and distinction who passionately believes music has the power to change lives, Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene. She is recognized for her innovative approach to programming, deep commitment to education, and to the development of audiences of all ages.
Originally from New York City, Alsop holds degrees from Yale University and The Juilliard School. Her conducting career launched in 1989—the year she became the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein.
Since 1992, Alsop has served as music director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she has built a devoted audience for new music. Since 2007, she has seen outstanding success as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where she has created bold initiatives that have contributed to the wider Baltimore community and reached new audiences. Alsop and the BSO celebrate their centenary in 2016. Alsop became principal conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2012, leading international tours and shaping the company’s creative direction, and was named music director one year later.
Alsop has guest-conducted the great orchestras of the world, including Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, La Scala Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, and London Symphony and Philharmonic.
The only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, given to U.S. residents in recognition of exceptional creative work, Alsop is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She was named Musical America’s Conductor of the Year in 2008 and inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010. She is the only classical musician to be included in the Guardian’s “Top 100 Women,” in 2011, and was presented with Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music, London, in 2012. Most recently, she was named an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society.