Marin Alsop Is Appointed First Chief Conductor and Curator of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, Starting This Summer
Marin Alsop has been appointed Chief Conductor and Curator of Chicago’s Ravinia Festival, where she looks forward to launching her tenure this summer. The new position was created specifically for Alsop, who will be the first to hold the title in the festival’s 116-year history. Over the course of her two-year appointment, she will curate and conduct two weeks of concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO), whose summer residency has been hosted by Ravinia since 1936. Her upcoming highlights with the orchestra include programs celebrating legendary women and the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women’s suffrage.
As the Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony and Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Alsop has earned myriad honors, including a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship, the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award, and the prestigious Association of British Orchestras Award. Throughout this year’s celebrations of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, she will lead “All Together: A Global Ode to Joy”; the project, presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall, sees her conducting eleven orchestras on six continents in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, with new texts and supplementary commissions to amplify the work’s message and relevance to each local community. She is very involved in music education, using an El Sistema-based method similar to the one with which Ravinia creates student orchestras through its “Reach Teach Play” programs. As the final protégé of Leonard Bernstein, Alsop was appointed in 2018 to curate the festival’s multi-season celebration of the great American composer-conductor. Now, in Welz Kauffman’s final season, that role has been expanded, enabling her to help guide Ravinia’s musical future.