Marin Alsop

First Woman Conductor of a Major American Orchestra
Lessons From a Maestra: Leadership, Innovation & Risk-taking
Wed., Feb. 8, 2017

Conductor Marin Alsop made history as the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony, the first woman to head a major American orchestra. A protégée of Leonard Bernstein, in 1991 she made her professional conducting debuts with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She continues to appear regularly with these orchestras, in addition to the London Philharmonic. Alsop took up the post of Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Brazil’s premiere orchestra, in 2012, and became Music Director in 2013.

Winner of Gramophone’s “Artist of the Year” award and a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Alsop was the first conductor to be named a MacArthur "Genius" Fellow. In 2006 she was the only classical musician invited to the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2013, she became the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms in its 119-year history. In 2008, along with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Marin unveiled an education initiative, ORCHkids, providing music education, instruments, and mentorship to Baltimore’s youth.

Alsop has been profiled in TIME and named one of “America’s Most Powerful Women” by Newsweek. She can be heard regularly as a commentator on NPR’s Weekend Edition program, Marin on Music. In 2012 she was featured in the book, How Great Women Lead: A Mother-Daughter Adventure into the Lives of Women Shaping the World.

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