06/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/03/2021 11:10
June 3, 2021
Marin Alsop and the Chicago Symphony at Ravinia (photo: courtesy of the Ravinia Festival)
'A formidable musician and a powerful communicator, a conductor with a vision.'
- New York Times on Marin Alsop
Named 2021 Classical Woman of the Year by American Public Media's Performance Today, MacArthur Fellow Marin Alsop returns to live performance with a full summer that reflects her stature as one of the foremost conductors of our time and agents of change in the classical world. As Chief Conductor of Austria's ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, she helms 'All Together: A Global Ode to Joy,' a high-profile open-air performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (July 3). Back in the States, in her first appearances as the inaugural Chief Conductor and Curator of Chicago's Ravinia Festival, she leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in seven live programs that showcase the artistry of women and people of color, including Cynthia Erivo, Jessie Montgomery and Anthony McGill (July 9-23). Alsop also undertakes two major educational residencies, inaugurating her appointment as the first Music Director of Maryland's National Orchestral Institute Festival (NOI+F) (June 24 & 26), then returning to Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West (Aug 7). These events follow several weeks devoted to celebrating Alsop's achievements. In New York City, The Conductor - a new feature documentary about her and her work - receives its world premiere screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival (June 14 & 18), and the conductor herself serves as this year's Commencement Speaker at the Juilliard School, which is conferring on her an Honorary Doctorate (June 18). Similarly, at the Baltimore Symphony, Alsop concludes her transformative 14-year tenure as Music Director with 'The Marin Festival ' (June 5-19), two weeks of live performances to honor her accomplishments with the orchestra, with a broadcast of the final concert on Maryland Public Television. As the Washington Post observes: 'When Marin Alsop steps down at the end of August, concluding a Quite Literally Historic 14-year tenure as the first woman to lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra - or any major American orchestra, for that matter - she will leave a gap more profound than the space on the podium.'
Looking ahead to her summer engagements, Alsop comments:
'After a historically challenging year for all of us, with musicians and arts organizations facing difficulties most of us could have never imagined, it is incredibly gratifying to look ahead to a summer where I am busy again doing all of the things that matter most to me. Added to the thrill of being reunited with beloved colleagues, I am thrilled to be taking on new ventures that will give me the opportunity to share fully my love of teaching, performance, discovery and advocacy.'
Tribeca Film Festival premiere (June 14) & Juilliard Commencement Speech (June 18)
By way of an upbeat to her full summer, Alsop looks forward to a week celebrating her achievements in New York City. On June 14 and 18, the Tribeca Film Festival presents the world premiere screenings of The Conductor, a new documentary by filmmaker Bernadette Wegenstein. Also available for online home streaming, the film tells Alsop's story through a combination of intimate interviews, moments from her professional and private life, encounters with cognoscenti in the music world, previously unseen archival footage with her mentor Leonard Bernstein, and vérité scenes of her teaching and mentoring the next generation of female conductors. For tickets and more information, click here.
Also on June 18, Alsop returns to the Juilliard School, her alma mater, where she addresses the class of 2021 as Commencement Speaker and - alongside actor Alan Alda, dance educator Jody Gottfried Arnhold, soprano Reri Grist and dancer and director Virginia Johnson - receives an Honorary Doctorate. Held for a limited in-person audience outside on Juilliard's Lincoln Center campus, the school's 116th Commencement Ceremony will also be livestreamed on its website.
'All Together: A Global Ode to Joy' live in Vienna (July 3)
On July 3, Alsop reunites with the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, where she began her tenure as Chief Conductor in October 2019. As the centerpiece of Vienna's citywide post-pandemic re-opening program, she will conduct the orchestra in an al fresco performance of Beethoven's 'Choral' Symphony at the Rathaus, the Austrian capital's city hall. Their performance will feature two choirs - the Wiener Singakademie and members of the Superar KinderChor - who will premiere a new German text for 21st-century listeners by Austrian writer Michael Köhlmeier, based on the philosophy of Friedrich Schiller's original Ode to Joy poem, and commissioned for the occasion by the city of Vienna. To promote the event, multiple smaller, multi-genre performances will take place at parks throughout the city. This represents Alsop's first post-pandemic live performance of 'All Together: A Global Ode to Joy,' the yearlong Beethoven celebrations she was originally scheduled to present with ten orchestras on six continents in partnership with Carnegie Hall. When the pandemic struck, she instead collaborated with Google Arts & Culture, YouTube and a host of key international arts organizations to launch the crowd-sourced video project #GlobalOdeToJoy. Click here to see the #GlobalOdeToJoy video finale, set to a performance of the 'Ode to Joy' by Alsop, the Vienna RSO and the Stay At Home Choir.
After concluding her tenure at the Baltimore Symphony, Alsop looks forward to returning next season for 'All Together: A Global Ode to Joy,' a live concert featuring a new English interpretation of Schiller's text, tailored to the city's vibrant multicultural community by local rapper-musician Wordsmith.
Seven live CSO concerts as Chief Conductor of Ravinia (July 9-23)
In February 2020, Alsop was appointed to an expressly created new position, becoming the first Chief Conductor and Curator in the 117-year history of Chicago's Ravinia Festival. Having been unable to launch her tenure last year as planned, she now looks forward to doing so this summer, when she will curate and conduct no fewer than seven concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra(CSO), whose summer residency has been hosted by Ravinia since 1936.
By founding such programs as the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, which promotes and nurtures the careers of her fellow female conductors, and OrchKids, the Baltimore Symphony's successful music education program for the city's most disadvantaged youth, Alsop has long proven herself a leading 'ambassador for classical music in the 21st century' (Financial Times). As such, when it came to choosing which composers and guest artists to feature at Ravinia, she was keen to use her new platform to amplify the voices of women and people of color. She explains:
'In my programs with the marvelous Chicago Symphony Orchestra, I have combined masterpieces everyone knows and loves with music by a diverse range of composers and soloists. The opportunity to bring this great talent to Ravinia audiences is a joy and privilege.'
For her Opening Night performance with the orchestra (July 9), she conducts Mexican pianist Jorge Federico Osorio - known for his 'prodigious technique, unaffected warmth and patrician style' (Chicago Tribune) - in Mozart's 23rd Piano Concerto, bookended by Joan Tower's Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.
Next, Alsop and the CSO present a program 'Celebrating America' (July 10). This combines Harlem Symphony and Victory Stride by seminal jazz composer James Price Johnson - whose symphonic music she has played a significant part in rediscovering, recording and championing - with works by three living U.S. composers. Alsop herself will conduct All American by Grammy and Emmy winner Laura Karpman and The Battle for the Ballot by Arts and Letters Award recipient Stacy Garrop, in which TV's Jaye Ladymore will narrate texts by key American suffragists. For Fate Now Conquers by 2021 Sphinx Medal of Excellence laureate Carlos Simon, she will instead pass the baton to her protege Jonathan Rush, 'a continually rising talent in the conducting world' (Baltimore Sun), whom she recently hired as Assistant Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony.
For their third concert together (July 16), Alsop leads the CSO in Mendelssohn's 'Italian' Symphony, Prokofiev's First Violin Concerto with Midori, and Banner, 'an urgent, inventive piece' (New York Times) by CSO Composer-in-Residence Jessie Montgomery, who features prominently in the conductor's current programming. The following night (July 17), Alsop and the orchestra perform Ravel's Le tombeau de Couperin, Ginastera's Variaciones concertantes and Beethoven's 'Emperor' Concerto, with celebrated Czech pianist Lukáš Vondráček.
Then, in a special gala evening titled 'Legendary Women's Voices' (July 18), Alsop and the CSO join forces with leading English singer-actor Cynthia Erivo, whose accolades include a Grammy, an Emmy, a Tony and two Oscar nominations. Together they salute some of the world's greatest female singers and orchestral composers in a benefit supporting Ravinia, a not-for-profit music festival, and its 'Reach Teach Play' education programs.
For her final two CSO concerts, Alsop leads a pairing of Prokofiev's 'Classical' Symphony and Mahler's Fourth with soprano soloist Julia Bullock, one of Musical America's 2021 'Artists of the Year' (July 22), before drawing their Ravinia residency to a close with accounts of Haydn's 66th Symphony, Brahms's Variations on a Theme by Haydn and Copland's Clarinet Concerto, featuring New York Philharmonic Principal Clarinetist Anthony McGill (July 23).
Live residencies at NOI + F (June 24-26) & Music Academy of the West (Aug 7)
A program of the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F) brings together aspiring orchestral musicians from across the country for a month of music-making and professional development. Appointed last year as the prestigious program's first Music Director, Alsop makes her first appearances in the role this June, when she heads a newly formed conductor academy and leads two concerts with the NOI+F Philharmonic.
Performed at Virginia's Wolf Trap for an audience composed solely of essential workers, their first program (June 24) combines Beethoven's 'Pastoral' Symphony with Jessie Montgomery's Caught by the Wind and the world premiere performance of The Maze by Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis, with its dedicatee, Utah Symphony Concertmaster Madeline Adkins, as soloist. Two nights later (June 26), back at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Alsop conducts the orchestra in performances of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Pulse by young Alabamian composer Brian Raphael Nabors, and Gabriela Lena Frank's Apu, a tone poem commissioned by Carnegie Hall, where Alsop led its premiere.
For the second of her summer's two educational residencies, Alsop returns to Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West, the nation's preeminent full-scholarship summer school and festival for emerging classical artists. There she conducts the young musicians of the Academy Chamber Orchestra in a program of Ginastera's Variaciones Concertantes, bookended by Joan Tower's Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman and Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, as at Ravinia (Aug 7).
Click here to download high-resolution photos.
Marin Alsop: summer engagements
June 14 & 18
New York, NY
Tribeca Film Festival
Bernadette Wegenstein, director: The Conductor (world premiere screening of Alsop documentary)
New York, NY
June 24 & 26
College Park, MD
University of Maryland
National Orchestral Institute Festival (NOI+F) (debut as Music Director)
Wolf Trap, VA
Concert for Essential Workers
Jessie Montgomery: Caught by the Wind
Nathan Lincoln-DeCusatis: The Maze (with Madeline Adkins, violin; world premiere)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 6, 'Pastoral'
Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
Brian Nabors: Pulse
Gabriela Lena Frank: Apu
Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
'Global Ode to Joy'
Beethoven: Symphony No. 9, 'Choral'
July 9-23: Ravinia, IL
Chicago Symphony Orchestra
July 9 at 8pm
Opening Night with Marin Alsop
Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 23 (with Jorge Federico Osorio, piano)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
July 10 at 8pm
Laura Karpman: All American
Stacy Garrop: The Battle for the Ballot (with Jaye Ladymore, narrator)
Carlos Simon: Fate Now Conquers (with Jonathan Rush, guest conductor)
James P. Johnson: Harlem Symphony
James P. Johnson: Victory Stride
July 16 at 8pm
Midori Plays Prokofiev
Jessie Montgomery: Banner
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 1 (with Midori, violin)
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 4, 'Italian'
July 17 at 8pm
Vondráček and the 'Emperor'
Ravel: Le tombeau de Couperin
Ginastera: Variaciones concertantes
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5, 'Emperor' (with Lukáš Vondráček, piano)
July 18 at 6pm
Cynthia Erivo: 'Legendary Women's Voices'
Gala evening benefiting Reach Teach Play
Songs by female singers and orchestral works by female composers (with Cynthia Erivo, vocalist)
July 22 at 8pm
Bullock Debuts with Mahler
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1, 'Classical'
Mahler, arr. Klaus Simon: Symphony No. 4 (with Julia Bullock, soprano)
July 23 at 8pm
McGill Plays Copland
Haydn: Symphony No. 66
Copland: Clarinet Concerto (with Anthony McGill, clarinet)
Brahms: Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Santa Barbara, CA
Music Academy of the West
Academy Chamber Orchestra
Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman
Ginastera: Variaciones Concertantes (with TBD, violin)
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7
Week of Aug 9
Edinburgh International Festival
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
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© 21C Media Group, June 2021