Marin Alsop to become Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal guest conductor next season

The 67-year-old was music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2007-08 through 2020-21, the first woman to lead a top-level American orchestra.

Marin Alsop conducts the New York Philharmonic orchestra at We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert at The Great Lawn in Central Park in New York on Aug. 21, 2021.

File photo: Marin Alsop conducts the New York Philharmonic orchestra at We Love NYC: The Homecoming Concert at The Great Lawn in Central Park in New York on Aug. 21, 2021. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)

Marin Alsop will become principal guest conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra next season, succeeding Nathalie Stutzmann.

Alsop, 67, was music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra from 2007-08 through 2020-21, the first woman to lead a top-level American orchestra. She agreed to a three-year term with the Philadelphia Orchestra starting with a 2024 tour of China, the organization said Tuesday. She will conduct it for two or three weeks per season.

Alsop debuted with the orchestra in 1990 and has led it 32 times. Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s music director since 2012-13, reached out to her along with the orchestra’s management. She said the orchestra had long put aside its reputation for a heavy string sound, developed when Eugene Ormandy was music director from 1936-80.

“It’s a much different organism that when I first conducted them,” she said. “They’re super-flexible. They’re super-engaged. They’re super-enthusiastic.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

She is in her fifth season as chief conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and her first season as chief conductor of the Polish National Radio Symphony and as principal guest conductor of London’s Philharmonia Orchestra. She began in 2020 as the chief conductor of the Ravinia Festival, the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Alsop is to make her Metropolitan Opera debut in April leading the company debut of John Adams’ “El Niño.”

In 2005, she received a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”

  • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

Get the WHYY app!

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal