Dear Friends of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,
We have been pleased to share extraordinary news with you in recent weeks: world-class performances, inspirational philanthropic investments, and a united vision for the future. As you are among our most loyal friends and patrons, we wanted to personally share information with you about an important announcement that was made this morning.
After fourteen extraordinary seasons as our Music Director, at the conclusion of her current contract in a year and a half on August 31, 2021, Marin Alsop will step down as Music Director. Beginning in September 2021, Marin will assume a new role with the BSO as Music Director Laureate and OrchKids Founder. Marin’s tenure as Music Director will represent one of the longest in the history of the BSO and one of the longest tenures of any Music Director in the nation.
As Music Director Laureate, Marin Alsop will lead the orchestra in three concert weeks in each of the next five seasons, through 2025-26, and she will also lead an annual masterclass for conducting students at the Peabody Institute. As OrchKids Founder, Marin will continue to participate in the governance of one of the BSO’s most important music education programs.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra made musical history in September 2007, when Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra’s 12th Music Director, becoming the first and only woman to helm a major North American orchestra. As a renowned protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Marin was central to his 100th birthday celebrations. Her dedication to new music has inspired the commissioning of more than 35 world premieres during her tenure as well as the performance of many rarely heard new works, including her leadership of the BSO’s New Music Festival in 2017 and 2018. Under her direction, the BSO has made 14 recordings, with numerous critically-acclaimed releases on the Naxos Records label, including Prokofiev’s complete Romeo & Juliet and the Dvořák symphonies. In 2018, Marin led the BSO on its first international tour in thirteen years, highlighted by performances at the Edinburgh International Festival, and the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall.
Alsop’s commitment to access, inclusion and educational outreach spurred the creation of new series and programs beloved by many at the BSO, from community participation initiatives, such as Rusty Musicians and the Academy, to the popular “Off the Cuff” concert series, through which audiences learn stories behind major works in the repertoire. Representing one of the organization’s most significant outreach initiatives, in 2008 Marin Alsop and the BSO launched OrchKids, fostering social change through the power of music.
Among her many awards and honors, at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Marin received the Crystal Award for inspiring inclusive and sustainable change. In 2005, she became the only conductor ever to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, with which she helped to fund the launch of OrchKids.
You can read the full press release at BSOmusic.org/press.
Thank you for your continued support of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. We are excited about the upcoming season under Marin’s baton, as we celebrate her exceptional leadership at the center of her remarkable tenure and look forward to more great music-making in the years ahead.
Peter T. Kjome
President and CEO