Marin Alsop, the first female maestra of a major North American orchestra, will step down from her leading role in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra next year.
The BSO announced Alsop, 63, will not have her current contract as music director renewed once it expires at the end of August 2021.
It will conclude a 14-year run at the helm of the orchestra that started back in 2007. Alsop will take on a new position with the BSO, as the music director laureate and OrchKids founder once her current contract ends.
“The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is one of the world’s great orchestras and I have been proud to have served as its artistic leader for the past 14 years,” Alsop said in a press release. “I am looking forward to leading these outstanding musicians as Music Director in the upcoming season and continuing our involvement in my new position as Music Director Laureate.”
Alsop’s tenure demonstrated her commitment to new music. The commission of more than 35 world premieres and renditions of multiple rare works standout in her BSO career.
The BSO recorded 14 albums, including the Dvořák symphonies and Prokofiev’s acclaimed “Romeo and Juliet.” Performances at the Edinburgh International Festival as well as the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall in 2018 were highlights of BSO’s first international tour in 13 years.
Alsop launched OrchKids in 2005 with the help of the MacArthur Fellowship, or “genius grant.” She was the first conductor to ever be awarded the fellowship.
“Her success as the BSO’s Music Director represents one of the longest tenures in the history of the Baltimore Symphony,” Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Board Chair Barry Rosen said in a press release. “Among her many accomplishments has been our outreach into the community as well as the creation of OrchKids, which now serves over 2000 school children in underserved Baltimore neighborhoods.”
Kjome told The Washington Post the financial problems BSO has been experiencing did not influence her decision to leave her position as musical director.
“The fact that she will continue to conduct the BSO three weeks each year for the five years says a lot about the relationship between Marin and the BSO,” Kjome said, per the Post.
The orchestra announced it will form a search committee to find a new Music Director.
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