Marin Alsop has been announced as the next Chief Conductor at the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna from the 1st of September 2019 for an initial period of three years. Alsop will conduct the Orchestra in concerts, opera productions, tours, broadcasts and recordings. She succeeds Cornelius Meister.
Celebrated internationally as an inspiring and influential conductor, Alsop’s innovative programming and commitment to audience development across all ages is driven by her passionately held belief that "music has the power to change lives".
Radio Director Monika Eigensperger and the Managing Director of the Orchestra Dr. Christoph Becher recommended the appointment of Marin Alsop as new Chief Conductor of the Vienna RSO to Director-General Dr. Alexander Wrabetz, who formally invited Alsop to accept the position.
Dr. Alexander Wrabetz comments: "The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna grew artistically under the leadership of Cornelius Meister and increased its reputation both nationally and internationally. Therefore, it was important that we find someone who would be able to continue to inspire and challenge us and we are thrilled to have been able to convince Marin Alsop to take up this position. She is an extraordinary conductor, who will further develop the RSO’s high artistic qualities. With her at the helm we’re in an excellent position for the future."
Monika Eigensperger comments: "I am delighted that our Orchestra will now have its first female Chief Conductor with Marin Alsop. She has been a pioneer for women and has been the first female Chief Conductor at many orchestras, not least her two current orchestras, the Baltimore and the São Paolo Symphony Orchestras. I’ve long admired Marin and I am very much looking forward to her arrival."
Marin Alsop on her new appointment: "I am very excited about the prospect of collaborating with the Vienna RSO. We share the same enthusiasm for expanding the repertoire and for connecting with new audiences. I am deeply moved by the fact that the players instigated my appointment and I can't wait to start this journey with them, working closely with the Orchestra's partners in Vienna, across Austria and beyond."
Alsop and the Vienna RSO collaborated for the first time in 2014 with a concert of works by Leonard Bernstein and Gustav Mahler. Their next project is a recording in autumn 2018 and she begins her first season as Chief Conductor as the Orchestra celebrates its 50th anniversary.
Marin Alsop conducting the Vienna RSO in April 2014
Marin Alsop conducting the Vienna RSO in April 2014
Dr. Christoph Becher comments: "After the Orchestra's musicians performed with Marin in Vienna in 2014 they unanimously put her forward as their new Chief Conductor. I particularly enjoyed our passionate and extensive exchanges on contemporary music and the importance of concerts for children and young people. I am delighted she has chosen Vienna and our outstanding Radio Symphony Orchestra."
Chief Conductor & Artistic Director Cornelius Meister on his successor: "I wholeheartedly welcome Marin's appointment. Of course, I will closely consult with her from now on in any future decision-making. The Vienna RSO will benefit extensively from her international experience and I'm hugely looking forward to being an audience member in her performances with the RSO!"
Both Executive and Artistic Directors of the Wiener Musikverein and the Konzerthaus welcomed Alsop's appointment.
Matthias Naske, Director of the Konzerthaus comments: "The Konzerthaus community in Vienna and myself share the view with Marin Alsop that 'Music has the power to change lives' and her relentless quest for artistic excellence. Congratulations on the Orchestra's choice and we look forward to welcoming the Vienna RSO with their new Chief Conductor at our hall."
Dr. Thomas Angyan, Director of the Wiener Musikverein comments: "Marin Alsop's appointment is a huge asset to the Orchestra and to Vienna as a city of music. Marin is familiar to Austrian audiences from her performances at the Musikverein. As Director of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna, I am delighted to welcome Marin Alsop to the Musikverein as the first female conductor to lead the Orchestra that is so dear to Vienna."
Until the start of her tenure, Marin Alsop holds the title of Chief Conductor Designate.
Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, Marin Alsop's tenure has been extended twice and currently runs until 2021. Among the initiatives she has created there are "OrchKids", which brings the BSO's musicians into schools in socially deprived areas of the city, the BSO Academy and the "Rusty Musicians" for adult amateur musicians.
Alsop has also been Principal Conductor & Music Director of the São Paolo Symphony Orchestra since 2012, where she champions a diversified concert programme as well as outreach activities. She has taken them on several international tours, including appearances at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals and in Berlin, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna to great acclaim. She will become Conductor of Honour at the end of her tenure in 2019.
Marin Alsop conducts international orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra (with whom she has recorded a complete cycle of the Brahms Symphonies), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala and Orchestre National de France. In the US she regularly leads the orchestras of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago. Further highlights of the 2017/18 season include guest appearances at the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.
Marin Alsop has always championed contemporary composers, not least as Artistic Director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music for 25 years. As one of Leonard Bernstein's best known pupils, Alsop is central to his 100th anniversary global celebrations in 2018: she opens and closes the Bernstein tribute by the London Symphony Orchestra, will conduct his "Mass" at the Ravinia Festival with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, where she curates the programmes for 2018 and 2019, and at Southbank Centre in London, where she is Artist in Residence. At Southbank Centre she will also conduct the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) in a Beethoven programme as part of a UK-wide tour. Her regular association with the OAE has resulted in recent performances of both the Brahms and Verdi Requiems at the BBC Proms.
In September 2013, Marin Alsop became the first female conductor to lead the BBC's Last Night of the Proms, which resulted promptly in a second invitation to conduct in 2015.
Her extensive discography has led to multiple Gramophone awards and includes the Symphonies of Brahms, Dvořák and Prokofiev as well as further recordings for Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Sony. Among her many awards and academic positions, Marin Alsop is the only conductor to have received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship. She is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Philharmonic Society and she has directed the Graduate Conducting programme at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute since 2015. She attended the Juilliard School and Yale University, who awarded her with an Honorary Doctorate in 2017. Her conducting career was launched in 1989, when she became the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center.