Marin Alsop is to stay at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) until 2015 after her contract was extended by five years. The first woman to conduct a major American orchestra, Alsop took up the baton at the BSO in 2007. Following initial opposition from orchestra members at her appointment – many felt excluded from the selection process – the BSO has forged a strong relationship with Alsop. Her current contract was due to end in 2010.
‘She challenges us, she educates us, and she inspires us,’ says Laurie Sokoloff, head of the BSO players committee to The Baltimore Sun. ‘Marin is a powerhouse of energy. She gets more accomplished when we’re together than any music director we’ve worked with.’
Since taking up the post of music director at the BSO, Alsop has launched a new wave of recordings by the orchestra, after a hiatus of ten years. Their Dvořak symphony cycle for Naxos got off to a flying start last summer with a widely acclaimed recording of the New World Symphony. Alsop has also been praised for her role in setting up OrchKids, an outreach programme designed to engage children in the local community with the orchestra.
‘I’m happy with what we’ve achieved so far,’ says Alsop, ‘and I just want to keep things going.’