Could New York Poach BSO Director Marin Alsop?

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Marin Alsop
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Director Marin Alsop. Photo courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The current music director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, will be stepping down in 2017, leaving many to speculate who might replace him. Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Director Marin Alsop is on several critics’ lists for likely replacements. The Guardian‘s Tom Service called Alsop, who is under contract in Baltimore through 2021, “among the most exciting appointments for New York.”

When Alsop took the reins at the BSO in 2007, she became the first woman to lead a major American orchestra. Her appointment was initially bemoaned by a majority of BSO musicians who felt Alsop did not have the “musical stature” for the job. Alsop quickly quelled the mutiny, and proceeded to make a name for herself with programming that met with critical and popular success. (The New York Times so dubbed the BSO’s performance of the rarely played Honegger oratorio “Jeanne d’Arc au Bûcher.”) Alsop has also run programs, like OrchKids and “Rusty Musicians,” that directly engage the local community. In short, if she were to be poached by the New York Philharmonic, it would be a loss for the city.

Hands off, New York!

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