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Marin Alsop in 2022-23: Embarks on Fourth Season as Chief Conductor of Vienna RSO; Leads São Paulo Symphony’s Carnegie Debut; Returns to Baltimore Symphony, Chicago Symphony, NY Phil, LSO & Others

Marin Alsop (photo: Nancy Horowitz)

(August 2022)— “A powerful and communicative force on the podium” (Chicago Classical Review), MacArthur Fellow Marin Alsop looks forward to a full lineup of high-profile international engagements this season. In the U.S., she celebrates 200 years of Brazilian independence with the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra at its Carnegie Hall debut (Oct 14 & 15), performs works by Anna Clyne, Jessie Montgomery and Julia Wolfe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Jan 6 & 7), leads the New York Philharmonic in music by Prokofiev, Barber and Chick Corea (May 25–27), conducts three programs as Music Director Laureate of the Baltimore Symphony, and returns to the Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras and Dallas, Cincinnati and Seattle Symphonies. In her fourth season as Chief Conductor of Austria’s ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, she conducts four programs of 20th- and 21st-century music, leads a tour to the Paris Philharmonie, and releases her recordings of Schumann’s First and Second Symphonies on Naxos. After launching her season with an extensive tour of Japan at the helm of the Poland National Radio Symphony Orchestra (Sep 7–19), she returns to the Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra and London’s Philharmonia orchestra – with which she made her acclaimed debut just three months ago – for concerts at Windsor Castle and the Royal Festival Hall. Complementing Alsop’s full 2022-23 season is a year-long Global Concert Series to mark the 20th anniversary of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, which she founded to help the next generation of women conductors.

These engagements come on the heels of a spectacular summer for Alsop, who led the Vienna RSO at both its BBC Proms debut and her own Salzburg Festival debut, conducted the Opening Night concert of the Aspen Music Festival, served as conductor and Jury Chairperson of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and drew rave reviews at the Ravinia Festival, where, as Chief Conductor, she led five Chicago Symphony programs and inaugurated a new mini-festival, “Breaking Barriers.” Chicago’s WTTW TV pronounced her CSO collaboration “a once-in-a-lifetime experience” and Classical Voice America observed: “Summer festivals can and should take more risks and, indeed, break barriers. That is exactly what Alsop and Ravinia did successfully.”

Already holding Honorary Doctorates from Yale University and the Juilliard School, Alsop was recently recognized with an honorary degree from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, while The Conductor, a documentary about her life, debuted at New York’s 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and has subsequently been broadcast on PBS television, screened at festivals and theaters nationwide, and honored with the Naples International Film Festival’s Focus on the Arts Award.

Fourth season with Vienna RSO: in Vienna, Paris and on record

The first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria and Britain, Alsop is a staunch and cogent advocate for each of the ensembles with which she is most closely associated. In her first three seasons as Chief Conductor of Austria’s ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, she has already established a warm rapport with the ensemble, leading the Wiener Zeitung to report: “the chemistry seems right.” Last fall saw the release of their first recording together – a Hindemith collection – and October 28 brings the physical and digital release of Schumann’s First and Second Symphonies, as reorchestrated by Mahler. She and the Vienna RSO recorded the works as the first installment of their sophomore recording project: a complete Schumann symphonic cycle for Naxos, of which the second volume is due for release early next year. Alsop explains:

“Recording the Schumann symphonies in the Mahler orchestrations with the wonderful musicians of the Vienna RSO has been a thrilling journey. These four symphonies are a natural companion to the Brahms cycle I recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra for Naxos. They are symphonies that convey huge personal struggle and triumph; symphonies of intimate moments and boldly displayed joy. These orchestrations add a new dimension as we experience these works through the eyes of another great genius, Mahler. Not only can we hear and appreciate Schumann’s brilliance, but we can also understand how Mahler felt about Schumann’s symphonies. Mahler’s edits convey a deep reverence for the original while adding touches based on his vast experience as a master conductor and composer.”

It was Alsop’s live leadership of the Vienna RSO in Mahler’s arrangements of Schumann’s First and Second Symphonies that prompted Austria’s Online Merker to marvel:

Alsop was absolutely convincing. The ORF RSO orchestra shone as a collective and in all solo challenges! One had the impression that the chemistry between the orchestra and the boss was 100% right. … The first woman at the head of the orchestra approaches the works and thus the artistic task with open ears, an open heart and a keen mind. The cheers signaled: To many more great concerts!”

Alsop’s focus is on music of the 20th and 21st centuries in her fourth season with the orchestra, which they launch with an Opening Night Concert at the Vienna Concert House (Oct 22). Continuing her survey of music by her former mentor Bernstein, they perform both the closing number from Candide, the operetta she recently recorded with the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, and the Chichester Psalms, featuring the Vienna Singakademie and Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Alsop is one of the foremost exponents of Bernstein’s music, and her recordings of his complete orchestral works feature a number of “definitive performances” (New York Times), “some of which seem better than the composer’s own” (San Francisco Classical Voice).

Next, Alsop and the Vienna RSO introduce some of today’s most compelling younger compositional voices in a program of premieres. They give the world premiere of a new Vienna RSO co-commission from Sara Glojnarić, winner of the 2022 Erste Bank Composition Prize, alongside Austrian premieres of new works by Matthias Kranebitter and Milica Djordjević, winners of the same prestigious award in 2020 and 2019 respectively. Their compositions share the program with Mirela Ivičević’s feminist orchestral portrait Black Moon Lilith (2019-21) and Angélica Castelló’s Star Washers (2020-21). Commissioned by the Baltimore Symphony under the conductor’s auspices, Castelló’s work is dedicated to Alsop and soprano Barbara Hannigan, who joins her in Vienna for its Austrian premiere (Nov 3).

There follow two programs of 20th- and 21st-century music at the Vienna Musikverein. Alsop leads an all-American evening featuring Joan Tower’s Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, a work dedicated to the conductor herself (Dec 4), before undertaking Bernstein’s First Symphony, “Jeremiah,” and Prokofiev’s First Violin Concerto, with Maxim Vengerov as soloist (Dec 8).

After a program of Ives and Ligeti at the Vienna Concert House (Jan 28), Alsop and the Vienna RSO complete their season with a spring performance on tour at the Paris Philharmonie. Gabriela Montero joins them as soloist in Mozart’s 24th Piano Concerto, which they combine with the French premiere of Around a Roundabout (2021) by Erkel Ferenc Prize-winning Hungarian composer Judit Varga and Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony (March 20).

São Paulo Symphony’s Carnegie debut: Brazilian independence at 200 (Oct 14 & 15)

During her seven-year tenure as Music Director of Brazil’s São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), Alsop exponentially raised the orchestra’s international profile through numerous recordings and a succession of European tours. These were highlighted by dates in Berlin, Paris, Salzburg, Vienna and London, where the orchestra’s BBC Proms debut marked the first Proms appearance by any Brazilian orchestra. For their return to the festival, Alsop and the orchestra performed the music of Villa-Lobos, in which they impressed Bachtrack with their “passion and Brazilian flair.” As OSESP’s Conductor of Honour, Alsop reunites with the orchestra this fall, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Brazilian independence with a three-city U.S. tour of Kansas City, MO; North Bethesda, MD; and New York City (Oct 10–15), where the Brazilian composer’s work once again takes center stage. OSESP makes its eagerly anticipated Carnegie Hall debut (Oct 14) with a program showcasing Brazilian harmonica virtuoso José Staneck in Villa-Lobos’s Harmonica Concerto and the São Paulo Symphony Choir in the composer’s Chôros No. 10. The following night, Alsop and OSESP return to Carnegie Hall, this time pairing Villa-Lobos’s music with that of his compatriots Jobim, Clarice Assad and others as images of the Amazon flash above the stage, as seen through the eyes of its myriad species. Titled “The Amazon Concert: Sights and Sounds of Brazil,” this multidisciplinary program was conceived by eminent visual director Marcello Dantas (Oct 15).

U.S. guest engagements: Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia and more

During her outstanding 14-year tenure as its Music Director, Alsop led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on its first European tour in 13 years, released multiple award-winning recordings, and conducted more than two dozen world premieres, as well as founding OrchKids, a groundbreaking music education program for Baltimore’s most disadvantaged youth. Having now assumed the title of Music Director Laureate and OrchKids Founder, she returns to lead three programs with the orchestra in 2022-23. This fall, they perform Still’s In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy, a tribute to the Black Americans who lost their lives in World War II; Shostakovich’s First Violin Concerto, featuring Grammy-winner Augustin Hadelich; and Beethoven’s iconic Fifth Symphony (Nov 10 & 11). Alsop celebrated the German composer’s 250th anniversary in 2020 with the “Global Ode to Joy,” a crowd-sourced video project inspired by Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, of which her recent interpretation with the Chicago Symphony “got to the core of the music” (Chicago Tribune).

Next February, Alsop rejoins the Baltimore Symphony for Mahler’s First Symphony, “Titan” and the world premiere of Tipping Point, a new Baltimore Symphony commission from Huang Ruo, “one of the world’s leading young composers” (New Yorker), whose new work addresses the climate change crisis (Feb 17–19). She and the orchestra conclude their season with the Sixth Symphony of Christopher Rouse (April 13–15). A native of Baltimore, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning composer once said of Alsop: “She has real commitment to both American music and new music. There’s an excitement about the way she makes music.

As Chief Conductor of the Ravinia Festival, Alsop has developed a close relationship with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) at its summer home. When she led works by Bernstein and Osvaldo Golijov in her fifth program with the orchestra this past summer, Chicago’s WTTW TV reported:

“Performed to breathtaking effect … , the concert was superbly led by Marin Alsop, Ravinia’s chief conductor. … Throughout the evening’s two fiendishly difficult works Alsop (who was mentored by Bernstein) oversaw an impeccable, wonderfully dramatic rendering of the music of both grandly theatrical composers.”

A leading “ambassador for classical music in the 21st century” (Financial Times) who consistently uses her platform to amplify the voices of women and people of color, Alsop returns early next year to lead the Chicago Symphony in music by some of today’s most compelling contemporary women composers (Jan 6 & 7). Her first half pairs This Midnight Hour by Grammy nominee and former CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Anna Clyne with Rounds for piano and strings by Sphinx Medal of Excellence winner and current CSO Mead Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery, who considers the conductor “an incredible supporter” of her work (Financial Times). Drawing inspiration from T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets, Montgomery’s concerto will feature its dedicatee, Awadagin Pratt – a pianist known for the “old-master richness” (Boston Music Intelligencer) of his playing – as soloist. Alsop closes her CSO program with the Chicago premiere of Her Story, a CSO co-commission for orchestra and women’s vocal ensemble from Pulitzer Prize-winner and MacArthur Fellow Julia Wolfe. Setting out to capture “the passion and perseverance of women who have led the fight for representation and gender equality,” Wolfe’s piece is the most recent of her works to shed light on important and turbulent moments in American history.

It was Alsop who, in summer 2021, led the New York Philharmonic, with guest vocalists Jennifer Hudson and Andrea Bocelli, in “WE LOVE NYC: The Homecoming Concert,” an all-star Central Park event that aired live on CNN. Next spring, the conductor rejoins the orchestra for three nights at its Lincoln Center home, where they perform Chick Corea’s Trombone Concerto, his final finished work, with its dedicatee, New York Philharmonic principal trombone Joseph Alessi, as soloist. Alsop and the orchestra complete their program with the Suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet and Barber’s First Symphony (May 25–27). Made 21 years ago, her recording of the work was described just this year as “a must-have” (San Francisco Classical Voice); as Gramophone wrote at the time of its release:

“In its unhurried authority, big heart and epic thrust, it’s the kind of interpretation one could have imagined from Bernstein himself in his NYPO heyday. … She is a musician of outstanding gifts.”

In high demand nationwide, Alsop returns to the podiums of five more of America’s most prominent orchestras this season. This fall, she returns to the Philadelphia Orchestra for The Planets by Holst and the world premiere of Nina C. Young’s violin concerto Traces with Jennifer Koh (Nov 17–19). Then, to ring in the New Year, Alsop leads the Minnesota Orchestra in the Minnesota premiere of Jessie’s Montgomery’s Rounds, again featuring Awadagin Pratt (Dec 31 & Jan 1); performs Bernstein’s Songfest: A Cycle of American Poems for Six Singers and Orchestra with the Seattle Symphony (June 15 & 17); gives an all-American program of Barber, Copland and Dett with the Cincinnati Symphony (May 20); and conducts Gabriela Ortiz’s Antrópolis (2019) and the First Piano Concerto (“Latin”) by Latin Grammy-winning Venezuelan pianist-composer Gabriela Montero at the Dallas Symphony (Feb 23–25).

Returns to London’s Philharmonia (Sep 29 & 30), LSO (Feb) & Orchestre de Paris (April)

When Alsop made her debut with London’s Philharmonia this past May, they impressed The Strad with their “sensitive musical partnership, full of colour and nuance,” and Bachtrack found the orchestra “in powerful form under Marin Alsop.” Now, just three months later, she returns to lead the orchestra in a program showcasing BBC Young Musician of the Year Sheku Kanneh-Mason in works by Haydn and Richard Strauss at London’s Royal Festival Hall (Sep 29). The young cellist once undertook a residency with Alsop’s OrchKids and she considers him something of “a phenom.” The conductor and orchestra also perform a program of Jessie Montgomery, Sibelius and Beethoven at England’s Windsor Castle (Sep 30).

Next year, Alsop returns to two more of the European orchestras with which she enjoys longstanding relationships, leading works by Beethoven, Rachmaninoff and Weill with the London Symphony Orchestra (Feb 8 & 9) and a program combining Hannah Kendall’s Tuxedo with symphonies by Beethoven and Bernstein at the Orchestre de Paris (April 20 & 21).

Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship: Global Concert Series

Alsop has long shown herself to be “a conductor who makes a difference” (Daily Telegraph, UK), and in 2002 she founded the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship (TACF) to promote gender diversity in music and help other women follow in her own pioneering footsteps. This season, TACF celebrates its 20th-anniversary with the TACF Global Concert Series, when Mei-Ann Chen, Jeri Lynne Johnson and other TACF award recipients conduct orchestral concerts in Madrid (Sep 13 & 14), London (Nov 17 & 18), Philadelphia (March 3), Chicago (May 3) and six more cities around the world. Their program features Inbal Segev as soloist in Anna Clyne’s DANCE, as on Alsop’s hit recording of the work with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Further details of the TACF tour are available here.

Click here to download high-resolution photos.

Marin Alsop: 2022-23 engagements

Sep 7–19
Japanese tour with Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra (NOSPR)
   Sep 7: Kawaguchi
   Sep 8: Tokyo (Suntory Hall)
   Sep 10: Osaka (Symphony Hall)
   Sep 11: Shizuoka
   Sep 12: Nagoya
   Sep 13: Fukuoka
   Sep 14: Okayama
   Sep 16: Ishikawa
   Sep 17: Matsumoto
   Sep 18: Yamagata Tersa
   Sep 19: Yokohama, Kanagawa
BACEWICZ: Overture
CHOPIN: Piano Concerto No. 1 (with Hayato Sumino, piano)
BRAHMS: Symphony No. 1 (at selected dates)
DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” (at remaining dates)

Sep 29
London, England
Royal Festival Hall
Philharmonia Orchestra
R. STRAUSS: Don Juan (with Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello)
HAYDN: Cello Concerto No. 1 (with Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello)
HAYDN: Cello Concerto No. 2 (with Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello)
RAVEL: Daphnis et Chloé: Suite No. 2

Sep 30
Windsor, England
Windsor Castle
Philharmonia Orchestra
Jessie MONTGOMERY: Strum
SIBELIUS: Violin Concerto (with Daniil Bulayev, violin)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 7

Oct 10–15
U.S. tour with São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP)
   Oct 10: Kansas City, MO (Helzberg Hall, Harriman-Jewell Series)
Oct 12: North Bethesda, MD (The Music Center at Strathmore)
Oct 14 & 15: New York, NY (Carnegie Hall; OSESP debut)
Program A: Oct 10–14
VILLA-LOBOS: Prelude from Bachianas brasileiras No. 4
VILLA-LOBOS: Harmonica Concerto (with José Staneck, harmonica)
VILLA-LOBOS: Chôros No. 10 (with São Paulo Symphony Choir)
Program B: Oct 15 only
“The Amazon Concert: Sights and Sounds of Brazil”
Visual Director: Marcello Dantas

Oct 22
Vienna, Austria
Vienna Concert House
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Opening Night Concert
BERNSTEIN: Chichester Psalms (with Baltimore Choral Arts Society and Wiener Singakademie)
POULENC: Concert champêtre (with Jean Rondeau, harpsichord)
BERNSTEIN: “Make our Garden grow” from Candide
BARTÓK: The Wooden Prince Suite

Nov 3
Vienna, Austria
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Angélica CASTELLÓ: Star Washers (2020-21; Austrian premiere of Baltimore Symphony commission; with Barbara Hannigan, soprano)
Milica DJORDJEVIĆ: O drveću, nežnosti, Mesecu… (2020-22; Austrian premiere)
Sara GLOJNARIĆ: new work (2022; world premiere of RSO Vienna co-commission)
Matthias KRANEBITTER: 60 Auditory Scenes for investigating cocktail party deafness (2021; Austrian premiere)
Mirela IVIČEVIĆ: Black Moon Lilith (2019-21)

Nov 10 & 11
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
STILL: In Memoriam: The Colored Soldiers Who Died for Democracy
SHOSTAKOVICH: Violin Concerto No. 1 (with Augustin Hadelich, violin)
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 5

Nov 17-19
Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Orchestra
BRAHMS: Tragic Overture
Nina C. YOUNG: Traces, for violin and orchestra (world premiere; with Jennifer Koh, violin)
HOLST: The Planets

Dec 4
Vienna, Austria
Vienna Musikverein
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
BARBER: Symphony No.1
ROUSE: Flute Concerto (with Emmanuel Pahud, flute)
Joan TOWER: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
John ADAMS: Fearful Symmetries

Dec 8
Vienna, Austria
Vienna Musikverein
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
BACEWICZ: Music for Strings, Trumpet and Percussion
PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 1 (with Maxim Vengerov, violin)
BERNSTEIN: Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah” (with Rinat Shaham, mezzo-soprano)

Dec 31; Jan 1
Minneapolis, MN
Minnesota Orchestra
BERNSTEIN: Candide Overture
Jessie MONTGOMERY: Rounds for Piano and Orchestra (Minnesota premiere; with Awadagin Pratt, piano)

Jan 6 & 7
Chicago, IL
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Anna CLYNE: This Midnight Hour
Jessie MONTGOMERY: Rounds for Piano and Orchestra (with Awadagin Pratt, piano)
Julia WOLFE: Her Story

Jan 28
Vienna, Austria
Vienna Concert House
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
IVES: The Unanswered Question
LIGETI: Piano Concerto
IVES: Symphony No. 2
LIGETI: Mysteries of the Macabre

Feb 8 & 9
London, England
London Symphony Orchestra
WEILL: Lady in the Dark: Symphonic Nocturne
BEETHOVEN: Piano Concerto No. 4
RACHMANINOFF: Symphonic Dances

Feb 17–19
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Huang RUO: Tipping Point (world premiere of Baltimore Symphony commission)
MAHLER: Symphony No. 1, “Titan”

Feb 23–25
Dallas, TX
Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Gabriela ORTIZ: Antrópolis
Gabriela MONTERO: Piano Concerto No. 1, “Latin” (with Gabriela Montero, piano)

March 20
Paris, France
Paris Philharmonie
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
Judit VARGA: Around a Roundabout (2021; French premiere; world premiere for large orchestra)
MOZART: Piano Concerto No. 24 (with Gabriela Montero, piano)
DVOŘÁK: Symphony No. 7

April 13–15
Baltimore, MD
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
TCHAIKOVSKY: Romeo and Juliet, Fantasy Overture
ROUSE: Symphony No. 6
RACHMANINOFF: Piano Concerto No. 3 (with Olga Kern, piano)

April 20 & 21
Paris, France
Orchestre de Paris
Hannah KENDALL: Tuxedo
BERNSTEIN: Symphony No. 2, “The Age of Anxiety”
BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3, “Eroica”

May 20
Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
BARBER: Symphony in One Movement
BARBER: Knoxville Summer of 1915
DETT: The Ordering of Moses
COPLAND arr. John WILLIAMS: “The Promise of Living” from The Tender Land

May 25–27
New York, NY
New York Philharmonic
BARBER: Symphony in One Movement
COREA: Trombone Concerto (with Joseph Alessi, trombone)
PROKOFIEV: Suite from Romeo and Juliet

June 15 & 17
Seattle, WA
Seattle Symphony Orchestra
PROKOFIEV: Suite from Romeo and Juliet
BERNSTEIN: Songfest (with Tracy Cantin, soprano; J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano; Sarah Larsen, mezzo-soprano; Kevin Deas, bass-baritone)

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© 21C Media Group, August 2022


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