Alsop to depart Baltimore Symphony in 2021

Wed Feb 26, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Marin Alsop’s tenure as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will conclude at the end of the 2020-21 season. File photo: Jason Dixson

Next season will be the last for Marin Alsop as music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In September 2021, Alsop will assume a new role as music director laureate, conducting three weeks of concerts in each of the next five seasons through 2025-2026, according to a BSO press release.

Alsop will also continue to hold an annual masterclass for conducting students at the Peabody Institute and participate in the governance of OrchKids, the educational program she founded during her tenure. OrchKids, modeled on the program for young musicians in Venezuela popularly known as El Sistema, serves over 2000 school children in underserved Baltimore neighborhoods.

Alsop’s 14-year tenure began in September 2007, when she became the BSO’s twelfth music director, the first and only woman to helm a major North American orchestra. BSO Board Chair Barry Rosen said, “Marin has brought this Orchestra to unprecedented heights, and we will always be grateful for her vision and leadership.  Her success as the BSO’s Music Director represents one of the longest tenures in the history of the Baltimore Symphony.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a state task force, which  released a 54-page report on the BSO’s financial situation. Among other recommendations, the report advises that, in order to preserve a 52-week performing season, management will need to secure at least $15 million in additional public and private funds during the next six years. The task force delivered its report Tuesday to the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Larry Hogan.

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