Marin Alsop has announced her departure from the financially troubled Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Alsop, who early in her career was associate conductor of the Richmond Symphony, has been music director of the Baltimore Symphony since 2007. At that time, she was one of only two female conductors leading major orchestras in the US. (The other was JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra. Falletta is leaving the Norfolk-based VSO at the end of this season.)
Last year, when the Baltimore Symphony canceled its summer schedule and locked its musicians out of work amid chronic budgetary shortfalls threatened its continued existence, Alsop complained of lack of communication with its management and said she was “nearing the end” of her time in Baltimore.
Donors subsequently provided emergency funding, and the orchestra has embarked on a long-term plan to stablilize its finances.
Alsop has since been named chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in Austria and chief conductor and curator of the Ravinia Festival in Chicago.
As of fall 2021, Alsop will assume the title of music director laureate of the Baltimore Symphony and continue her involvement in running OrchKids, the program that she launched in 2008 to offer music lessons and other assistance for children in impoverished neighborhhoods, The Baltimore Sun’s Mary Carole McCauley reports: