Marin Alsop is
a Woman of Firsts
The Conductor takes the audience into the heart of classical music, and into the soul of one of its top artists, the internationally renowned conductor Marin Alsop — the first woman to serve as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra — giving us backstage passes to the artistry and energy that rewards her audiences and inspires her students. With unprecedented access, the director and film crew accompany Marin Alsop to concerts around the world from Mozart’s Magic Flute in São Paulo, to Mahler’s 1st Symphony in Lucerne, to Bernstein’s Mass in Baltimore, and her opening concert in Vienna.
In spite of rejections from the establishment of classical music and being told “girls can’t do that,” Marin Alsop persisted and never let go of her childhood dream of becoming a conductor. The film features a combination of intimate interviews with the Maestra, a look into her private life, unseen archival footage with her mentor Leonard Bernstein, and Vérité scenes conducting different orchestras and teaching the next wave of conductors who, like her, were being excluded from the classical music canon.
"There’s a young woman named Marin Alsop. She was a student of mine at Tanglewood – she did Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler and Roy Harris’s Third Symphony under me, and she’s fabulous, she is simply wonderful. She’s a comer. I have to kick her ass a lot [laughing], but I have to kick everybody’s asses a lot…"
- Leonard Bernstein
From Dinner with Lenny: The Last Long Interview with Leonard Bernstein
The Conductor takes you on Marin Alsop’s musical life journey to three cities on three continents: Baltimore, USA; São Paulo, Brazil; and Vienna, Austria.
Baltimore is the home to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) where Marin Alsop has been the Chief Conductor since 2007. In 2008 she founded OrchKids, The Baltimore Symphony Educational Program, with currently 1,300 children enrolled.
São Paulo, Brazil
São Paulo, Brazil is the home to the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) that Maestra Alsop has been leading from 2012 to 2020, and where she is now the Conductor of Honor. During her tenure in São Paulo Marin Alsop helped the orchestra in becoming the most important orchestra in Latin America.
Vienna is the hometown of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO)of classical music, and where Mozart, Beethoven, Mahler, and Schumann, all featured in the film, came from or lived for most of their lives. In 2019 Marin Alsop was appointed Chief Conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO). It is the first time that an Austrian orchestra appointed a woman their chief conductor.
"Marin Alsop brings a freshness and clarity to the interpretation of music, a high level of musicianship, dynamic energy, and understanding of the piece
- Yumi Hwang-Williams
Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony
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