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Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Celebrates 20th Anniversary Season With Global Concert Series

(Photo collage courtesy of Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship)

Following the triumphant kickoff of its 20th anniversary season at Chicago’s Ravinia Festival with a three-concert series titled “Breaking Barriers: Women on the Podium,” the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship (TACF) – founded by Ravinia Chief Conductor Marin Alsop in 2002 to help other women follow in her own pioneering footsteps – celebrates the anniversary year with a series of concerts around the globe. While highlighting the collective power of women in classical music, the concerts also promote awareness about how elusive the goal of full gender equality on the podium still is. Nine conductors who have been assisted by awards from TACF will be featured in the concerts, eight of whom are the Music Directors of their respective orchestras, with one also serving as Chief Conductor of a second participating orchestra. To support these conductors and orchestras, TACF is sponsoring a week of each of their 2022-23 seasons. TACF awardees for 2022-24 will be on hand during these weeks to assist and benefit from the mentorship of their TACF predecessors. All ten performances will feature Israeli-American cellist Inbal Segev – known for her “complete dedication and high intelligence” (San Francisco Classical Voice) – playing DANCE, a concerto commissioned by her from Grammy-nominated composer Anna Clyne. Each TACF-sponsored week will also include community and audience engagement events, which may include showings of The Conductor, a recent documentary about Alsop; masterclasses; educational events; open rehearsals; and talks with women and girls’ groups and at local universities and corporations.

TACF’s global concert series represents the collaboration of a trio of dynamic women – Marin Alsop, Inbal Segev and Anna Clyne – as they celebrate TACF’s two decades of achievements and look ahead to all that has yet to be accomplished. Alsop and Segev began their collaboration as co-curators of the Baltimore Symphony’s New Music Festival over two seasons during Alsop’s celebrated 14-year tenure as Music Director of that orchestra, and it was Alsop who originally introduced the cellist to Clyne. This, in turn, kindled the first flames of the partnership that led Segev to commission DANCE, which Clyne – “a composer of uncommon gifts” (New York Times) – based on a poem by 13th-century Sufi mystic Rumi. Segev’s acclaimed 2020 Avie Records release of the concerto with Alsop leading the London Philharmonic Orchestra was an instant success, topping the Amazon Classical Concertos chart; its opening movement was chosen as one of NPR Music’s “Favorite Songs of 2020” and has received 8 million listens on Spotify. Segev says of the collaboration:

“Marin is an inspiring artist on so many levels. A driving force in the music world, a mentor, a feminist in the best sense of the word and a businesswoman. Through her special intuition, she knew that Anna Clyne and I were on the same wavelength and introduced us. Anna, in turn, wrote me one of the most beautiful cello concertos in the world. … I hope that the message, besides the pure joy of the music itself, will be ‘more.’ More women conductors, more women composers, more equal opportunities and pay. We live in 2022 and we are ready.”

Over its 20 years of existence, the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship has assisted 30 female conductors, 19 of whom hold Music Director or Principal Conductor posts with orchestras and in opera houses around the world, and all of whom are working to maintain the highest artistic standards while ensuring a more equitable future for classical music. The TACF alumnae and orchestras participating in the 20th anniversary global concert series are Mei-Ann Chen (2007 Fellow), Chief Conductor of Recreation – Das Orchester and Music Director of the Chicago Sinfonietta; Marzena Diakun (2015 Associate Fellow), Music Director of Fundación Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid; Marta Gardolińska (2017 Associate Fellow), who will guest-conduct the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice; Laura Jackson (2004 Fellow), Music Director of the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra; Jeri Lynne Johnson (2005 Fellow), Founder and Artistic Director of the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra; Carolyn Kuan (2003 Fellow), Music Director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra; Holly Mathieson (2013 Honorable Mention), Music Director of Symphony Nova Scotia; Valentina Peleggi (2015 Fellow), Music Director of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra; and Chloé van Soeterstède (2019 Fellow), Music Director of the Arch Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra. They will be assisted during the TACF-sponsored weeks by 2022-24 Fellow Anna Duczmal-Mróz, 2022-24 Associate Fellows Irene Delgado-Jiménez and Marie Rosenmir, 2022-24 Award Recipients Kalena Bovell and Anna Sułkowska-Migoń, and 2017 TACF award winner Barbara Dragan. Anna Duczmal-Mróz, along with past laureates Laura Jackson and Jeri Lynne Johnson, was also featured at this past summer’s Ravinia Festival. All three made their Chicago Symphony Orchestra debuts in the “Breaking Barriers: Women on the Podium” series curated by Alsop as the festival’s Chief Conductor.

More information about the 2022-24 TACF Fellow and Award Winners can be found here.

Click here to download high-resolution photos and other materials.

Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship Global Concert Series 2022-23

Sep 13–14
Madrid, Spain
Fundación Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid
Marzena Diakun, Music Director

Oct 13
Nova Scotia, Canada
Symphony Nova Scotia
Holly Mathieson, Music Director

Nov 18
London, UK
Arch Sinfonia Chamber Orchestra
Chloé van Soeterstède, Music Director

Nov 21
Graz, Austria
Recreation – Das Orchester
Mei-Ann Chen, Chief Conductor

Jan 28–29
Richmond, VA
Richmond Symphony Orchestra
Valentina Peleggi, Music Director

March 3
Philadelphia, PA
Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra
Jeri Lynne Johnson, Founder and Artistic Director

March 10–12
Hartford, CT
Hartford Symphony Orchestra
Carolyn Kuan, Music Director

March 25–26
Reno, NV
Reno Philharmonic Orchestra
Laura Jackson, Music Director

April 13–14
Katowice, Poland
Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra Katowice
Marta Gardolińska, Guest Conductor

May 6 & 8
Chicago, IL
Chicago Sinfonietta
Mei-Ann Chen, Music Director

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© 21C Media Group, August 2022


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