Marin Alsop on conducting, role models, and “firsts” for women

Posted on: January 4, 2017

Thursday’s (12/29) Washington Post includes K.K. Ottesen’s interview with Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil. “Q: Do you remember when you first decided you wanted to be a conductor? A: Sure, I was 9 years old, and my father took me to a young people’s concert at the New York Philharmonic, and the guy who was conducting was awesome. He was jumping around and having great fun…. His name was Leonard Bernstein…. Q: And now you’re the first female conductor of a major American symphony. How do you feel about that? … A: I’m very proud to be the first, but I’m also pretty shocked that we can arrive at this year and there can still be firsts for women. I started a fellowship for women conductors in 2002 [Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship] because there just weren’t enough…. In conducting, you can’t even practice until you go to the orchestra…. You really need time to make mistakes and try things. Q: Do you have advice you give young conductors, or that you, yourself, live by? A: … I always try to maximize every opportunity…. You have to exist and enjoy the moment, or it doesn’t work.”

Posted January 4, 2017