MARIN ALSOP MUSIC DIRECTOR OF BALTIMORE SYMPHONY
In a career that has been full of firsts, Marin Alsop has made history. Her appointment as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony breaks a significant glass ceiling. She becomes the first female conductor to head a major American orchestra. (Previously she was the first woman to become Principal Conductor of a British orchestra - the Bournemouth Symphony.) Alsop recently became the first female guest conductor of Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebowl Orchestra. Alsop has already moved the Baltimore Symphony back into the recording studio. (The orchestra had not made a commercial recording in over a decade - since the music directorship of David Zinman.) John Corigliano's Violin Concerto (with Joshua Bell as soloist) has already been taped for Sony. Next comes a complete cycle of Dvorak symphonies for Naxos, the world's best selling classical record label. Alsop is a protege of Leonard Bernstein and, in many ways, she is Bernstein's true heir. Her imaginative programming - a lively mix of interesting contemporary scores and standard repertoire - and intensely passionate performances have that unique blend of artistic mastery and charisma that made Bernstein so unique. Whether she is conducting a training ensemble or one of the nation's top five orchestras, Alsop draws stellar performances that long remain etched in the listener's memory. She is also a witty, articulate speaker whose comments from the podium help to demystify the process of musical creation and performance. Kudos to Baltimore! That city's orchestra can only thrive under Alsop's agile direction.