|Marin Alsop was at Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center.
October 4, 2011
|Hey Dallas is really sprawling with big roads and not many people. Everything in Texas seems much bigger than the same things in Baltimore! The concert hall is beautiful with a fantastic and HUGE (as you would expect here in Texas) pipe organ. The first piece on my concert features the organ. During the loud parts I can feel the vibrations right through my podium and into my legs - it's awesome!|
|Marin Alsop was at Alte Oper.
October 17, 2011
Greetings from Frankfurt, Germany where the weather is turning cold and rainy. I am conducting the Frankfurt Radio Orchestra this week in a program with a symphony by American composer Samuel Barber and Dvorak's "New World" Symphony. In the middle is a cello concerto by British composer, William Walton. I had never even heard the concerto before this week, so that's a lot of fun for me!
The concert hall is called the Alte Oper but it's rather a curious name because the inside of the concert hall is very modern! (not alte, old, at all!)
The orchestra plays really well and they don't seem to mind when I speak German/English/Portuguese, my own special hybrid of German sprinkled with English and a touch of Portuguese, which I'm learning now.On Sunday I head to Stockholm, Sweden. I'm just hoping that it doesn't snow there!
|Marin Alsop was at Stockholm Philharmonic.
October 24, 2011
Greetings from Stockholm, Sweden. This is a beautiful city with historic, palatial buildings everywhere. The city is surrounded by lots of clear, crisp water and there is a special kind of light in the afternoons. If I were a painter, this would be the perfect inspiration for a masterpiece!
The orchestra plays really well, but when they speak Swedish I haven't a clue what they are saying. It's a very unusual language to my ear. Fortunately, they all speak English very well. The concert hall has the same kind of regal character to it as the city, although the outside is all blue!
There is an incredible museum here called the Vasa Museum, which is a building built around a salvaged ship. It's an incredible ship and a wild story. Why don't you read about it online and have a look at some of the amazing photographs?
|Marin Alsop was at London Symphony Orchestra.
November 1, 2011
|I always love coming to London. It's a huge, vibrant city with history oozing out of every crevice. I am usually traveling to London from orchestras in other European cities and feel relieved to finally be in an English speaking country. But then I suddenly remember that the Brits call eighth notes "quavers" and half notes "minims" and that I need to take the "lift" to my floor in the hotel... so much for speaking English!
This week I am conducting the London Symphony Orchestra, one of the great orchestras of the world. It is fun, moving and a real privilege to make music with them. We performed Jeanne d"Arc Au Bucher (Joan of Arc at the Stake) this evening and it was an absolute blast. Everyone truly enjoyed getting to know the piece, which is rarely performed and now I get to come home to Baltimore and take it to Carnegie Hall with my wonderful BSO!
|Marin Alsop was at Carnegie Hall.
November 21, 2011
I always love performing in NYC, especially at Carnegie Hall! You can feel history when you walk into the beautiful lobby and enter the stunning concert hall. Every piece played at Carnegie Hall sounds beautiful.
I grew up in NYC so it always feels like coming home. I started life on 107th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, where I lived with my parents in a two room basement apartment, and later, when I was 20 years old, I lived on 43rd Street for many years, in an area called "Hell's Kitchen". It was a great place to live.
In NYC there's always something to do; always an exciting concert to hear; or something fun to do.
Going to NYC with my wonderful Baltimore Symphony is the thrill of a lifetime. I wish you could all be there!
|Marin Alsop was at Philadelphia Orchestra.
November 21, 2011
One of the main highlights of my week in Philadelphia was rehearsing with our visiting group of Orchkids and the members of "Play On Philly". I was really impressed with how well our Orchkids jumped right in and joined their orchestra - great job everyone!
The Philadelphia Orchestra is a wonderful ensemble and I always enjoy making music with them. Our program opened with a piece by American composer Samuel Barber that was premiered here in 1963! It's called Toccata Festiva and features an organist who has to play a huge cadenza with his feet! Next we did a concerto by Aaron Copland with the incredible principal clarinetist of the orchestra as soloist. It's a really fun piece that combines lots of jazz and beautiful melodies. We closed the program with Dvorak's "New World" Symphony and an encore by Brahms.
All in all, a great week in Philadelphia!
|Marin Alsop was at Sala São Paulo.
March 6, 2012
I spent last week in Sao Paulo, Brazil, opening the 2012 season and it was absolutely thrilling! First, though, I can't get used to starting a concert season in March instead of September, but that's the way things work south of the equator! Kids go to school from March to December and then have their summer holiday from Christmas to February! Isn't that strange?
This is a new job for me and it's so much fun! I am studying Portuguese now, which is what they speak in Brazil. I have lessons via skype with my teacher in Brazil every week and try to do my homework and practice speaking (almost) every day.
The concert hall in Sao Paulo is a reconstructed train station where coffee was traded in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It is one of the most beautiful concert halls I have every performed in and it's now my new hall! I hope there's a link so that you can go inside and explore it.
From Brazil I flew overnight to Oslo, Norway and expected snow and freezing temperatures. But Oslo is beautiful - about 65 degrees and sunny. Quite a surprise!
I have conducted this orchestra several times so it's nice to see people again. The city is on the water so there are really nice places to walk and enjoy a coffee or tea at an outdoor cafe.
The music this week is an American composer from Baltimore to start (Chris Rouse), then a Russian who lived in Hollywood (Stravinsky) and the German composer Beethoven, to end.
It's an excellent orchestra but I will be very happy to get home on Saturday!
See you soon.
|Marin Alsop - West Coast Tour.
April 7, 2012
|We're here in Eugene, Oregon, about to do the final concert on our tour to the West Coast.
For me, coming to Eugene is very special because my first Music Director position was with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and I still have lots of friends here and tons of great memories from my seven years with the ESO.
Eugene is a small city nestled in the hills of Oregon. The University of Oregon is here so there's a vibrant, youthful character to the city. People are kind, caring and very supportive of the arts. And it is thanks to my friends that the BSO could come on tour to Eugene.
We started our tour in Costa Mesa California, which is close to Los Angeles and then we flew north to San Francisco where we did three different concerts at the University of California in Berkley. The first was for 1,600 elementary, middle and high school kids. That was so much fun! Our program focused on nature and the world around us.
Next we did our main concert with the phenomenal Scottish percussionist, Colin Currie and finished up with a performance of a live film score written to accompany a silent film from 1928 called the Passion of Joan of Arc.
It was great fun to do such a variety of concerts for so many different audiences.
But, for me, tonight is the highlight. Wish us luck!