The Philharmonia Orchestra has announced the appointment of Marin Alsop as its new principal guest conductor. The orchestra has also launched the first half of its 2023/24 London season.


Following three highly acclaimed programmes with Alsop in the past year, the Orchestra was keen to forge a long-term relationship, recognising her exceptional musicianship, commitment to diversity and education, and the breadth of her repertoire.

Marin Alsop said: 'This appointment is a fantastic opportunity to deepen my relationship with these wonderful musicians and audiences. My work in London has been some of the most rewarding of my career.

'I am so looking forward to working more closely with this innovative, forward-thinking orchestra to create programmes and projects that draw from its long history of exceptional music making and continue to embrace the new and the bold.'

Alsop, currently chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, will join the Philharmonia’s artistic family in the 2023/24 season, with a programme to open the orchestra’s centrepiece series Let Freedom Ring: Celebrating the Sounds of America. For the following three seasons Alsop will develop three distinctive projects per season with the Orchestra, which will include new repertoire, concert formats and modes of presentation.

Alsop will join John Eliot Gardiner, recently appointed as principal guest conductor emeritus, plus principal conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali, conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen, and honorary conductor for life Christoph von Dohnányi.

Conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali
Santtu-Matias Rouvali, the Philharmonia's principal conductor

'We are hugely fortunate to welcome Marin Alsop to the Philharmonia Orchestra,' says Kira Doherty, Philharmonia president. 'She created an immediate rapport with the players in her three concerts with the orchestra last year, through her strong musical vision and her collaborative approach to music making.

'She is a true trailblazer and visionary who challenges the accepted norms of the classical world through her innovative programming and education work. Alsop holds a position in the industry that few have managed to replicate: an esteemed and highly respected custodian of musical tradition who simultaneously works to reimagine its future and ensure its continued relevance. We are thrilled to have her on board in this new and exciting partnership.'

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The Philharmonia's Let Freedom Ring series will celebrate the diversity of American music, and the creative cross-currents between classical music and jazz. The season will take in lesser-known composers such as William Grant Still, Margaret Bonds and James P. Johnson, as well as the familiar sounds of Gershwin, Bernstein and Copland, in its exploration of 'wide landscapes and restless cities, universal human experiences and extraordinary individuals, struggle and freedom'.

Other 2023/24 Philharmonia highlights include an opening concert featuring Verdi’s Requiem, featuring conductor Santtu-Matias Rouvali and soloists including Natalya Romaniw.


Featured artists for the season are violinist Nicola Benedetti and soprano Julia Bullock. Salonen returns to the orchestra as conductor laureate, in a reunion with pianist Mitsuko Uchida. That evening will feature Beethoven's Leonore Overture, No. 2 and Piano Concerto No. 2, before closing with Sibelius’s Lemminkäinen Legends.


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.