Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Mieography

Marin Alsop was born in NYC, daughter of two professional musician parents. Her father, LaMar, is a violinist and concertmaster of the NYC Ballet Orchestra, and her Mother, Ruth, is a cellist, with the same orchestra.

She began playing the piano at age 2, and the violin at age 5. By the time she was 7, she had entered the Juilliard pre-college. By 9 she knew she wanted to be a conductor. She was very precocious, and started high school at age 12, and by 16 she was ready for college.
She attended Yale University, but followed her heart, and transferred to the Juilliard School of Music, where she earned both a bachelor's and masters degree, in violin. While she was there she founded a string ensemble, "String Fever". (She continues to play with them today) She also one the Koussevitzky prize as an outstanding student conductor while she was studying at the Tanglewood Music Center. While there, she studied under such illuminaries as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, and Gustav Meier.
Starting her career, she went to Santa Cruz, California, where she was the director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. This festival specializes in contemporary orchestral music. She then was the music director of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, with the initial title of the principal conductor. She is now the orchestra's conductor laureate. She has also been the music director of the Eugene Symphony in Eugene, Oregon, the associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony in Virginia, and she was the first conductor ever to receive the MacArthur Fellowship.
In July of 2005, she became the first woman to lead a major American Orchestra, by becoming the musical director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 1998, she assumed the orchestra's directorship, becoming the 12th music director. Her appointment was controversal, because some of the orchestra members were opposed to the manner in which the management appointed her, without their input. She met with the orchestra, and overcame their reluctance. They have since extended her contract into 2015.
She has instituted many great things since becoming the musical director, including an after school program called "OrchKids", where the underprivileged children from Baltimore receive free music instruction.
She has also branched out into Europe, by guest conducting with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and the City of London Sinfonia. Also in England, she became the principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony for 7 years. She has also conducted in Paris, Switzerland, Germany, and Italy.
She is the first woman to record the complete cycle of symphonies by Brahms (with the London Philharmonic), and she was the first woman conductor to have tackled a Mahler symphony with a major orchestra (also London Philharmonic).
She is also a regular guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.


sybil law said...


Daryl said...

Sybil beat me to it .. awesome indeed. Thank you for sharing these amazing women with us ..

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed by anybody with musical talent.