Women's History Month: Marin Alsop

We finish our weekly Women’s History Month celebration of trailblazing female conductors with the incredibly talented American Maestro Marin Alsop.

With her 2007 appointment as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Alsop became the first female Music Director of a major American orchestra. Additionally, in 2013 she was the first woman to conduct BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London. In addition to her position with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Alsop is Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, California, and guest conducts with major orchestras around the world.

She is passionate about music education, and in 2008 founded “OrchKids” with the Baltimore Symphony, a program that provides music education, instruments, and performance opportunities to underserved youth free of charge. In 2002, Maestro Alsop founded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship to support female conductors at the beginning of their careers. Maestro Alsop is the only conductor to have received a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

Maestro Alsop has a fantastic “Q&A” section on her website where you can read about her inspirations (Leonard Bernstein–who also had a huge influence on two of our other conductors featured this month–Maestro Jobin and our own Maestro Sainte-Agathe), being a role model for aspiring young female conductors, and her thoughts on being the first female conductor of a major American orchestra–in her own words: “I am extraordinarily proud to be the ‘first’ but I am also shocked by the fact that in the 21st century there can still be “firsts” for women!”

BlogKara Whittington