Marin Alsop was born in New York City to professional musician parents, and was educated at the Masters School. She attended Yale University, but later transferred to the Juilliard School, where she earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in violin.
She is currently music director of both the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, and chief conductor designate of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra.
Her conducting career was launched in 1989, when she was the first woman to be awarded the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize where she met her hero and future mentor Leonard Bernstein.
Her outstanding success as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007 has been recognised by two extensions in her tenure, now confirmed until 2021. Her selection was noteworthy because Alsop is the first woman to hold this position with a major American orchestra.
Among her many awards and academic positions, Marin Alsop is the only conductor to receive the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship, is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music and Royal Philharmonic Society, and Director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute.