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Maryland Music According to Marin

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director Marin Alsop dishes on Maryland’s happening music scene.

Interview conducted by Laura Farmer

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Marin Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Photo By: Grant Leighton
Plan to see a performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra when director Marin Alsop is conducting.
Marin Alsop conducting the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Photo By: Grant Leighton
See a performance by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Photo By: David Harp Photography

Q: What do you think is distinctive about the Maryland music scene?

A: In my experience, Baltimore audiences are much more adventurous than the national trend in audiences. People are open to new experiences and approach concert-going with genuine curiosity. This enables us to present innovative, unique programs, like Bernstein’s “Mass” and Honegger’s “Joan of Arc.” It is a very rewarding environment for artists.

Q: You've been living in Baltimore for nearly eight years. How have you seen Maryland's music offerings evolve in that time? 

A: I feel a real trust and support from the public that has grown over these years. There’s also an eclectic embrace of all styles of music that appeals to me.

Q: You're credited with helping the BSO connect and engage in the community in more meaningful ways, through initiatives like OrchKids (the BSO's comprehensive music-in-schools program) and by creating unique collaborations with artists like Trey Anastasio of Phish, or building seasons crafted around accessible, compelling themes, such as music in film. It's clear that you envision the BSO's role in serving Maryland as being about more than just giving concerts. Can you describe your vision for how the BSO fits into Maryland's thriving music scene? 

A: I see the role of the BSO as a leader and galvanizer and inspiration in our community. We aspire to offer creative opportunities to every member of the community, and especially to children and people without access to great classical music. Music and art are microcosmic representations of the best our human race has to offer and everyone should be included and have access to that greatness. People are interested in the context of art and it is our job to give them a sense of that context through programming, outreach and commitment. We are privileged to be the ambassadors for classical music and, as such, have a happy responsibility to reach every corner of our community.

 

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