Baltimore Symphony taps James Conlon for post-Alsop transition era

Wed Nov 18, 2020 at 12:28 pm
James Conlon

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra appointed James Conlon as its new artistic advisor on Tuesday. Conlon will take on the role at the conclusion of BSO music director Marin Alsop’s 14-year tenure in September 2021.

The esteemed American conductor, music director of Los Angeles Opera since 2006, will lead the orchestra for a term of three years, while it conducts a multi-year international search for a new music director.

During this period Conlon will conduct three concert weeks per year in each of the seasons, as well as providing leadership on artistic matters. Although Conlon has enjoyed a long history leading the National Symphony Orchestra, his appearances in Baltimore during the 2021-2022 season will be his first with the BSO. Conlon will also take part in artistic personnel decisions, including filling vacancies and attracting new musicians.

In the press release, Conlon said he accepts the position with the greatest pleasure: “The BSO’s reputation as one of America’s great symphony orchestras is well known. That is in large measure thanks to Marin Alsop, and I am particularly enthusiastic to work with her to assure the succession process for the orchestra’s future.” As music director laureate, Alsop will also lead three concert weeks per season through 2025-2026.

Leaving no doubt about the future, Conlon has excluded himself as a candidate for the post of music director. The BSO’s search for a permanent music director will involve conductors from around the world leading the orchestra beginning in the 2021-22 season.

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