Marin Alsop Named Recipient of Harvard University’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award

03.16.15
Marin Alsop
Harvard University

ACCLAIMED ORCHESTRA CONDUCTOR AND MacARTHUR FELLOWSHIP RECIPIENT TO PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC CONVERSATION AND AWARD CEREMONY ON MARCH 24

Marin Alsop, Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, is the recipient of Harvard University’s Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award. Alsop will visit Harvard University on Tuesday, March 24 to participate in a public conversation moderated by Diana Sorensen, Dean of Arts and Humanities, at 4 pm at the Harvard Faculty Club, 20 Quincy St., Cambridge, followed by a brief ceremony honoring her with the award. Admission is free and open to the public (tickets or RSVPs are not required; seating is first-come, first served). For more information, call 617.495.8676 or visit www.ofa.fas.harvard.edu/lfp The Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award, which offers an honorarium of $10,000 to a nationally recognized educator and is administered by the Office for the Arts at Harvard through its Learning From Performers program, was established by Professor and Mrs. Ray A. Goldberg and the Max Goldberg Foundation in order to perpetuate the values and teaching skills represented by the late Professor Vosgerchian who, at her retirement from Harvard University in 1990, was the Walter W. Naumberg Professor of Music Emerita in the Department of Music. The guidelines require that the recipient embody the following qualities: selfless commitment; artistic conscience; a constant renewal of approach to subject matter; ability to motivate in a positive and creative way; a sincere interest in the development of the whole person; and the ability to present musical knowledge in a way that is applicable to other disciplines.

Recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages, Marin Alsop has been Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, now confirmed until 2021. As part of her artistic leadership in Baltimore, Marin Alsop has created bold initiatives that have contributed to the wider community and reached new audiences. In 2008 she launched “OrchKids,” which provides music education, instruments, meals and mentorship of the city’s neediest young people. Engaging the local community, the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians schemes also allow adult amateur musicians the chance to play alongside members of the orchestra under Alsop’s baton.

Alsop took up the post of Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2012 and became Music Director in July 2013. She continues to steer the orchestra in its artistic and creative programming, recording ventures, and education and outreach activities. Alsop led the orchestra on a European tour in 2012, with acclaimed performances at the BBC Proms in London and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and they returned to Europe in October 2013, with concerts in Berlin, London, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna.

Since 1992, Marin Alsop has been Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, where she has built a devoted audience for new music. Building an orchestra is one of Alsop’s great gifts, and she retains strong links with all of her previous orchestras: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (Principal Conductor 2002-08; now Conductor Emeritus) and Colorado Symphony Orchestra (Music Director 1993-2005; now Music Director Laureate).

Marin Alsop has guest-conducted the great orchestras of the world: Philadelphia, Cleveland, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, La Scala Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and Bavarian Radio Symphony. In Europe, she regularly returns to the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and the Czech Philharmonic. Alsop has a close relationship with the London Symphony and London Philharmonic, appearing with both orchestras most seasons, as well as with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. She is also Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre in London.

In September 2013, Marin Alsop made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London. Other highlights of 2013-14 include a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony with RSO Wien at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and return engagements with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Czech Philharmonic orchestras. Marin Alsop is the recipient of numerous awards and is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, given to U.S. residents in recognition of exceptional creative work. In 2008 she became a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, in the following year, was chosen as Musical America’s Conductor of the Year. She was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and was the only classical musician to be included in The Guardian’s “Top 100 women,” celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day in 2011. In 2012 Alsop was presented with Honorary Membership (HonRAM) of the Royal Academy of Music, London. Alsop’s extensive discography on Naxos includes a notable set of Brahms symphonies with the London Philharmonic and a highly praised Dvorák series with the Baltimore Symphony. The first disc of her Prokofiev symphonic cycle with the São Paulo Symphony was “Orchestral Choice” in BBC Music Magazine. Other award-winning recordings include Bernstein’s Mass (Editor’s Choice, Gramophone Awards 2010) and Jennifer Higdon’s Percussion Concerto (Grammy Award 2010). Her next release on Naxos in September 2013 is Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the MDR Leipzig Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra. Alsop has also recorded for Decca Classics, Harmonia Mundi and Sony Classical.

Born in New York City, Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her Master’s Degree from The Juilliard School. Her conducting career was launched when, in 1989, shewas a prize winner at the Leopold Stokowski International Conducting Competition and in the same year was the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize from the Tanglewood Music Center, where she was a pupil of Leonard Bernstein.

The Luise Vosgerchian Teaching Award honors individuals who reflect her values and dedication to music and arts education. Previous recipients include Gustav Meier, Music Director, Greater Lansing (MI) Symphony Orchestra and Greater Bridgeport (CT) Symphony; Joan Panetti, professor of music at the Yale University School of Music; Curt Cacioppo, professor of music in the Music Department of Haverford College; Phyllis Curtin, opera singer and Dean Emerita of Boston University’s School for the Arts; Lowell E. Lindgren, professor of music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Elma Lewis, arts educator, activist and founder of Boston’s Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts; Claire Mallardi, Lecturer on Dramatic Arts and Artistic Director Emerita of the Office for the Arts at Harvard Dance Program; Robert Mann, founder and first violinist of the Juilliard String Quartet and a member of the Juilliard School Music Division faculty; co-recipients Mark Churchill, educator, conductor, cellist and Dean of New England Conservatory’s Division of Preparatory and Continuing Education, and Marylou Speaker Churchill, formerly violinist and member of the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music (College and Preparatory School) and the Heifetz International Music Institute; Thomas G. Everett, Director of Bands at Harvard University and Jazz Advisor to the Office for the Arts at Harvard; Aaron P. Dworkin, Founder and President of the Sphinx Organization, which focuses on youth development and diversity in classical music performance and education; and Sweet Honey in the Rock, the a cappella vocal group founded by Bernice Johnson Reagon that is committed to creating music out of the rich textures of African American legacy and traditions.