World-Renowned Conductor Marin Alsop Named 2022 Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence at Aspen Institute

October 20, 2021

The iconic artist will appear at Aspen Institute events nationwide, beginning with the Institute’s Conversation with Great Leaders, In Memory of Preston Robert Tisch event on November 2nd.

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager, The Aspen Institute
[email protected]

Marin Alsop (photo: Mariana Garcia)

Washington, DC, October 20, 2021– The Aspen Institute Arts Program today announced that Marin Alsop will serve as its 2021/22 Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence. In this role, Alsop will participate in programming and additional activities in Aspen, New York, Washington DC, and elsewhere. Among her many accomplishments, Alsop is currently Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, and recently concluded a trailblazing 14-year tenure with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, where she currently holds the title of Music Director Laureate.

Each year, an artist or cultural leader is selected as a Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence for a year-long exploration of their artistry and their unique perspectives to help address major social and civic issues. Drawing upon the Institute’s long-established convening power and association with ideas, values and leadership, Artists in Residence engage in discussions rooted in the arts and as thought leaders on how we face our most critical issues. 

“I am thrilled and honored to have this year-long opportunity to join thought leaders to discuss issues that are close to my heart, with a special emphasis on gender equality and access to the arts for all children.” Alsop said of her appointment.

Alsop will be engaged throughout the year in public convenings and forums focusing on her artistry,  her leadership and civic action within her field, community and beyond. The first of these will be on November 2nd at 6:00 pm when Alsop will be in conversation with Artistic Director of The Public Theater and 2020/21 Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence, Oskar Eustis as part of the Institute’s Conversations with Great Leaders, In Memory of Preston Robert Tisch series. A link to register to the livestream of this event can be found here:  www.aspeninstitute.org/events/the-aspen-leadership-series-marin-alsop-in-conversation-with-oskar-eustis/

More information about events featuring Alsop including participation at the annual Aspen Ideas Festival will be announced throughout the year.  

“Marin Alsop is an extraordinarily important figure in current American classical music and a tremendous role model for young people worldwide. Her creative and groundbreaking work does so much to spark our imagination and inspire us to be active citizens,” said Michael D. Eisner, Institute trustee and chair of its Committee on the Arts. “I couldn’t be more excited to have her join us at the Aspen Institute this year.”

Of the appointment, Aspen Institute Trustee Jane Harman said, “In co-founding the Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence program, my late husband Sidney said we must ‘… engage artists to ensure we act as a thoughtful and inclusive society and to bring inspiration, innovation and courage to face the challenges of our society…’ Marin Alsop exemplifies these ideals through her artistry, her perseverance to become the first woman to have led a major US orchestra and through her work to support rising leaders.”

“The Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence program powerfully integrates artistic expression and perspectives into the mission of the Aspen Institute. We are grateful to Michael Eisner and Jane Harman for their continued support of this important initiative,” said Dan Porterfield, President and CEO of the Aspen Institute. “Marin Alsop is an iconic conductor whose musical achievements are matched by her values and advocacy. We are excited for her upcoming participation in programming across the Institute.”

“Being the Harman/Eisner artist in residence has been a humbling honor and a joyous experience,” said Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater. “Marin Alsop is a brilliant artist and a courageous, trail-blazing leader who single-handedly blazed a trail that will be followed by many others. She’s part of history, and I’ll be overjoyed to talk to her on November 2.”

Prior to Marin Alsop’s appointment, the most recent Harman/Eisner Artists in Residence were Oskar Eustis, Rita Moreno and Edmund de Waal, and previous participants include Lil Buck, Ava DuVernay, Renée Fleming, Theaster Gates, Frank Gehry, Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Anna Deavere Smith, Robert Spano, Julie Taymor, and Alfre Woodard.

About Marin Alsop

One of the foremost conductors of our time, Marin Alsop represents a powerful and inspiring voice. Convinced that music has the power to change lives, she is internationally recognized for her innovative approach to programming and audience development, deep commitment to education, and advocacy for music’s importance in the world. The first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria and Britain, she is, as the New York Times put it, not only “a formidable musician and a powerful communicator” but also “a conductor with a vision.”  A new biographical film about her life, “The Conductor”, received its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021.

The 2020-21 season marked Alsop’s second year as Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, which she leads at Vienna’s Konzerthaus and Musikverein, and on recordings, broadcasts and tours. As Chief Conductor and Curator of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, she curates and conducts the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s summer residencies, formalizing her long relationship with Ravinia, where she made her debut with the orchestra in 2002. Appointed in 2020 as the first Music Director of the National Orchestral Institute + Festival (NOI+F), a program of the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, she leads a newly formed conductor academy and conducts concerts each June with the NOI+F Philharmonic.

During 2020, in collaboration with YouTube and Google Arts & Culture, Alsop spearheaded the “Global Ode to Joy” (GOTJ), a crowd-sourced video project to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th anniversary. Together with Germany’s official Beethoven anniversary campaign and the leading arts organizations of five continents, Alsop invited the global community to share the call for tolerance, unity and joy of the composer’s Ninth Symphony in videos tagged #GlobalOdeToJoy. The project culminated in December 2020, the month of Beethoven’s birth, with a grand video finale: a GOTJ highlight reel, set to a performance of the “Ode to Joy” anchored by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony, the international Stay-at-Home Choir and Alsop herself.

This year, Alsop assumes the title of Music Director Laureate and OrchKids Founder of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. This concludes her outstanding 14-year tenure as Music Director, which saw her lead the orchestra on its first European tour in 13 years, record multiple award-winning recordings and perform more than two dozen world premieres, in addition to founding OrchKids, a music education program for the city’s most disadvantaged youth. In 2019, after seven years as Music Director, Alsop became Conductor of Honour of Brazil’s São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), where she continues to conduct major projects each season.

Alsop has longstanding relationships with the London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras, and regularly guest conducts such major international ensembles as the Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, La Scala Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Budapest Festival Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. In 2019-20 she returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra, Danish National Symphony and Orchestral de Paris, whose season she opened in September 2020. In the summer of 2021, Alsop also led the New York Philharmonic in a live event in Central Park called “We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert” which was broadcast live on CNN.

Recognized with multiple Gramophone Awards, Alsop’s extensive discography includes recordings for Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Sony Classical, as well as acclaimed Naxos cycles of Brahms with the London Philharmonic, Dvořák with the Baltimore Symphony, and Prokofiev with the São Paulo Symphony. Committed to new music, she was Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music for 25 years.

The first and only conductor to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, Alsop has also been honored with the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award and made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. Amongst many other awards and academic positions, she serves as 2020 Artist-in-Residence at Vienna’s University of Music and Performing Arts, is Director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute and holds Honorary Doctorates from Yale University and the Juilliard School. To promote and nurture the careers of her fellow female conductors, in 2002 she founded the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, which was renamed in her honor as the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship in 2020.

 More information and a gallery of images is available at www.marinalsop.com 

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The Aspen Institute Arts Program champions the role of artists and cultural leaders as critical thought leaders, futurists and changemakers. Through our programs, the Institute’s well-known convening power and its vast network, we bring artists and cultural influencers to our audiences to celebrate and learn from their work and connect them with leaders across all fields to enlighten and to inspire us to face some of our greatest challenges.  In furtherance of the Institute’s commitment to drive change through dialogue, leadership and action, the Arts Program was established to ensure the inclusion of artists in  addressing some of society’s most complex problems. The Arts Program is based in New York City, and convenes events there, in Washington, D.C., Aspen, CO and beyond. Our Programs include: the Michelle Smith Arts & Culture Series, the Arts Track at the Aspen Ideas Festival, the Eisner/Lauder New Views Documentaries and Dialogue Series, and the year-long Harman/Eisner Artist in Residence Program. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org/artsprogram.

 The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.

The Aspen Leadership Series Conversations with Great Leaders, In Memory of Preston Robert Tisch

The Aspen Institute is grateful to Steve Tisch, Laurie Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and to the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund for their generous support of this program. The Conversations with Great Leaders series features discussions with inspiring and innovative leaders who are improving their communities and the world. Its programs explore themes of values-based leadership, civic engagement, and public service.

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