Three-year term begins in 2024–25 season
(Philadelphia, January 9, 2024)—Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra are thrilled to announce the appointment of the trailblazing Marin Alsop as principal guest conductor. The three-year term will begin in the 2024–25 season. In this role, Alsop will lead the Orchestra in multiple subscription concerts, special events, annual summer residencies, and national and international tours, beginning with the Orchestra’s upcoming 2024 tour of China.
“Marin Alsop is a renowned and revolutionary figure in the world of classical music, and one of the foremost conductors of our time,” said Music and Artistic Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “A torchbearer, she inspires generations of young conductors to pursue their dreams. She has always had a clear and insightful vision of the role of orchestras in our society, and I know she will be a tremendous partner as we continue to forge a bold and inclusive future for The Philadelphia Orchestra. I look forward to experiencing her innovative and inspiring approach with this legendary ensemble of musicians.”
“Working with the incredible musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra has always been a musical highlight for me,” said Marin Alsop. “Having the opportunity now to build on that relationship, and to join the spectacular artistic team headed by visionary conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is a dream come true. The Philadelphia Orchestra is committed to changing the future of classical music. I am proud to join this exceptional organization.”
“We are fervent believers in the transformative power of music to bring joy, create community, and effect change—sentiments shared and exemplified by Marin Alsop throughout her career,” said President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “I am delighted to see these possibilities unfold as she partners with the extraordinary musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra.”
The Philadelphia Orchestra has a long history with Alsop, beginning with her first appearance in 1990, and spanning 32 concerts since then. In addition to subscription concerts at the Academy of Music and in Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, she has also joined the Orchestra in all of its summer homes—at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, the Bravo! Vail Music Festival in Vail, CO, and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. Her versatility has been demonstrated in the diverse range of works performed with the Orchestra, from masterpieces such as Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, and Brahms’s First Symphony to 20th- and 21st-century works by Jennifer Higdon, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, John Adams, John Corigliano, and Missy Mazzoli. Her Philadelphia Orchestra performances have featured some of the biggest names in classical music, including Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Audra McDonald, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, and Angel Blue.
Alsop has led the Orchestra in several major events in recent years. In the 2022–23 season, she stepped in for Nézet-Séguin at the last minute to lead “viscerally thrilling” (Financial Times) performances of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring in Philadelphia and in New York at Carnegie Hall, a feat that was made possible through her special connection with the musicians of the Orchestra and her adaptability as a conductor. In addition, she led the Orchestra’s second annual Pride Concert on June 3, 2023, a celebratory event featuring works by LGBTQ+ composers and allies. In 2020, she conducted acclaimed performances of highlights from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess that were recorded for Pentatone Records. In 2019, she joined Itzhak Perlman in a celebratory concert featuring the iconic scores of John Williams and additional film music from Casablanca, Out of Africa, Cinema Paradiso, and more.
Convinced that music has the power to change lives, Alsop is internationally recognized for her innovative approach to programming and audience development, her deep commitment to education, and her championing of music’s importance in the world. The first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria, and Britain, she is now in her fifth season as chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, her first as artistic director and chief conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony, and her first as principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. She also holds positions as chief conductor, Chicago Symphony Orchestra residency, of the Ravinia Festival, where she curates and conducts the CSO’s annual summer residency; as the first music director of the University of Maryland’s National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F); and as music director laureate and OrchKids founder of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which she continues to conduct each season after an outstanding 14-year tenure as its music director.
The first and only conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, Alsop has also been honored with the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, and she made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. To promote and nurture the careers of her fellow female conductors, she founded the program now named the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship in 2002. 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 recognized with the Naples International Film Festival’s 2021 Focus on the Arts Award.
Before beginning her Philadelphia appointment, Alsop will make her company debut at the Metropolitan Opera, leading John Adams’s El Niño (A Nativity Oratorio) in a fully staged new production starring soprano Julia Bullock and bass-baritone Davóne Tines. Other 2024 highlights include a new production of Bernstein’s Candide with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, further performances with Polish National Radio Symphony and Philharmonia Orchestra, and guest conducting returns to the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Hamburg’s NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, and Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Yannick Nézet-Séguin holds the Walter and Leonore Annenberg Chair.
Marin Alsop holds the Ralph and Beth Johnston Muller Chair (beginning in September 2024).
About The Philadelphia Orchestra
About Marin Alsop
About the 2023–24 Season
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