Musician & Composer
Acclaimed conductor Marin Alsop was born in New York City on October 16th, 1956. Both of her parents were professional musicians that started her on piano when she was two years old and then the violin when she was five or six. At 7 years old Alsop was accepted to the Juilliard Pre-College Division on violin. Alsop studied for a Bachelor’s in music at Yale University and a Master’s at the Juilliard. A popular figure on the UK music scene, Alsop has appeared with many of the great British orchestras. She was Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony from 2002 to 2008 and is now Conductor Emeritus. In 1999 she was made principal guest conductor of the City of London Sinfonia and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. She has also appeared with the BBC SO, LSO, LPO and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Alsop has championed modern American music, making acclaimed recordings of works by composers including Barber and Gershwin. In 1984 she founded Concordia, a 50-piece orchestra specializing in contemporary repertoire, which she regularly conducts at New York’s Lincoln Center. She also plays jazz violin with her band String Fever. In 2003 she became the first person to win both Gramophone's Artist of the Year Award and the Royal Philharmonic Society's Conductor's Award in the same season. Alsop made history in 2007 as the first woman to be appointed music director of a major American orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony. The first and only conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, Alsop has also been honored with the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, and made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. She is Director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute; and holds Honorary Doctorates from Yale University and the Juilliard School. To promote and nurture the careers of her fellow female conductors, in 2002 she founded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, which was renamed in her honor as the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship in 2020.
"Music has the power to change lives. It's transformative."