Baltimore Symphony Appoints Alsop Over Musicians' Objections

Classic Arts News   Baltimore Symphony Appoints Alsop Over Musicians' Objections
The board of the Baltimore Symphony approved the appointment of Marin Alsop as the orchestra's music director at a meeting yesterday, the orchestra announced.

The appointment, which makes Alsop the first woman to lead a major American orchestra, came despite public pleas by musicians for a delay.

In an unusual move, the BSO issued a joint press release from management and musicians. It included an expression of dismay over the appointment from oboist Jane Marvine, chair of the musicians' committee, as well as a statement hailing the appointment from board chairman Philip D. English.

"In a final decision today, an overwhelming majority of our board of directors voted in support of Marin Alsop as the next music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra," English said. "We believe greatly in Ms. Alsop's leadership and her ability to move us into the next era of excellence. She is a world-class conductor whose artistic mastery, recording success, and highly regarded reputation world-wide will shape an exciting future for the BSO."

"The musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are disappointed in the premature conclusion of the music director search process," Marvine said. "However, this will not dampen our enthusiasm and zest for music making. We will work together with Marin Alsop and every conductor to present the inspiring performances our audiences have come to expect."

Alsop trained at Juilliard and at the Tanglewood Music Center, where she studied with Leonard Bernstein. She served as music director of the Eugene Symphony and the Long Island Philharmonic before being named to the relatively high-profile post of music director of the Colorado Symphony. After a decade in Denver, she became the first woman to lead a major British orchestra when she was appointed principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony.

In the last four days, with the BSO reportedly on the verge of appointing Alsop, musicians have issued two statements urging management to continue looking for Yuri Temirkanov's successor. Marvine told reporters that all seven musicians on the BSO's search committee had opposed offering the position to Alsop, but a vote was never taken.

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