Behind the Scenes

Marin Alsop is known to British audiences as the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms. She is an immensely charismatic New Yorker who was taught by Leonard Bernstein and retains his passion forbreaking down barriers in music.

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Marin Alsop Exudes Authority in Bernstein’s Music on his Centenary

It can’t have escaped your notice that this day, in fact, is the centenary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, and the EIF had a pair of concerts to mark his special day. Spending it with Marin Alsop, his most high profile student and disciple, is the closest thing you could get to spending it with Lenny himself, and it was her own lovely idea to play four sections from the piece assembled at Tanglewood in 1988 to celebrate Bernstein’s 70th birthday.

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Festival: Critics' choice

Alsop, also about to become the first female chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, is accustomed both to breaking that “glass ceiling” wherever she works, and also to playing music associated with her mentor, Leonard Bernstein. He specifically took her through Schumann’s Second Symphony shortly before he died, a work he had conducted at the Edinburgh Festival in 1960. This year it features in the first Baltimore concert, alongside Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and the Gershwin Piano Concerto with French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, both works with which Bernstein was closely associated.

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Bon Voyage, BSO!

It’s been thirteen years since the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra ventured overseas to perform. That changes next week, when more than one hundred musicians will head to Scotland, England and Ireland for a series of concerts. They’ll play many works by Leonard Bernstein, who mentored Marin Alsop, the BSO’s music director, and whose birth centennial is being celebrated this summer. We talk with Alsop and also with principal horn player Phil Munds, just before they head out on tour.

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Baltimore Symphony to make first overseas tour in 13 years

The last time the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra ventured across the Atlantic was in the fall of 2005 for a tour that became a highlight of Yuri Temirkanov’s final season as music director. His successor, Marin Alsop, will be at the helm when the BSO returns to Europe in August after an absence of 13 years, a trip that could well become a highlight of her tenure. 

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Edinburgh International Festival 2018: Keith Bruce's preview

Younger musicians in the Edinburg International Festival program include Scottish mezzo Catriona Morison, who has leapt to international recognition since winning Cardiff Singer of the World and violinist Nicola Benedetti, who will be part of a concert on the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein, August 25, when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will be conducted by one of the maestro’s last protége’s, conductor Marin Alsop. That centenary celebration will also include a performance of the Second Symphony of Robert Schumann, which Bernstein worked on with Alsop, and conducted himself at the 1950 Festival, as well as a programme of chamber music at the Queen’s Hall and Bernstein tunes as part of the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert, played by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

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BSO to make debut at Proms festival in London this summer

The second stop in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s European tour this summer with music director Marin Alsop will find the ensemble making its debut Aug. 27 at the Proms, an extraordinary eight-week festival of daily concerts in London’s 5,200-seat Royal Albert Hall. It will not be a first for Alsop. Leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, she made history in 2013 as the first woman to conduct the annual Last Night of the Proms since the festival’s founding in 1895. Alsop returned to lead the Last Night in 2015. She has also conducted various orchestras in other Proms concerts. (Proms is short for Promenade Concerts.)

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Marin Mania – Marin Alsop in the UK

If you check the dictionary for the definition of ‘busy’ it will probably say ‘see Marin Alsop’. The next couple of years are set to be massive for the world famous conductor. Marin is currently the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and also the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra in Brazil, in 2019 she takes over as chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in Austria (she’s already chief conductor designate for the 2018-2019 season), and in among all that she’s finding the time to celebrate her beloved Leonard Bernstein’s centenary in the US and Britain.

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The 2018 BBC Proms are announced

The 2018 BBC Proms has been announced. One of - if not the - highest profile of international music festivals, the BBC Proms draws artists and ensembles from around the world to London's Royal Albert Hall over the summer months. Key themes this year will include marking the centenaries of: the end of the First World War (including with a commission from composer Anna Meredith on the opening night on July 13), of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, and of women receiving the right to vote in the UK. Ninety debuts by artists include the first visit to the Proms by the Estonian Festival Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Teodor Currentzis and MusicAeterna (recipients of Recording of the Month in our January issue for their Sony release of Tchaikovsky's PathétiqueSymphony). 

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Unveiling the 2018 BBC Proms: From Bach to Bernstein via Buckley’s New York Disco

Leonard Bernstein, who was born in 1918, was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. His work as conductor, composer, pianist, and educationalist are explored in depth this season. The bank-holiday weekend, on what would have been Bernstein’s 100th birthday, will feature a Proms debut for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Music Director Marin Alsop, a former student of Bernstein.

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BBC announces 2018 Proms season

‘From Bach to Bernstein via Buckley’s New York Disco’: the BBC Proms 2018 season has been unveiled. The season will pay tribute to a range of events that occurred 100 years ago. The birth of Leonard Bernstein in 1918 has inspired a performance of West Side Story, as well as a Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Prom led by Marin Alsop, a former student of Bernstein.

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Baltimore Symphony will wrap up its summer tour in Dublin

The final stop in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s international tour in August will be Ireland. On August 29, music director Marin Alsop will lead the BSO in a program saluting the centennial of her mentor and friend Leonard Bernstein as part of the 2018-2019 International Concert Series at Dublin’s National Concert Hall. The performance marks the orchestra’s debut in Ireland.

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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Tours U.K. and Ireland

Maryland’s music scene will shine on the world stage this summer, as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra travels abroad for a tour through the United Kingdom and Ireland. From August 21-30, the BSO will make stops in London, Edinburgh, and Dublin, making itself known as a strong cultural ambassador for the city of Baltimore and the entire state of Maryland.

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