ôl´səp, 1956–, American conductor, b. New York City. The daughter of professional musicians, she began playing the piano at two and the violin at five. Alsop started conducting studies with Carl Bamberger in 1979 and also studied with Harold Farberman, Leonard Bernstein, and Seiji Ozawa. She founded the Concordia Orchestra in 1984 and accepted her first formal conducting position with the Richmond Symphony in 1988. From 1989 to 1995 she was music director of the Eugene (Oreg.) Symphony and the Long Island Philharmonic and from 1993 to 2003 she led Denver's Colorado Symphony. A guest conductor of many leading orchestras in the United States and Europe, Alsop was principal conductor (2002–8) of England's Bournemouth Symphony and the first conductor to be awarded (2005) a MacArthur Foundation
genius grant.In 2007 she became the first woman to lead a major American symphony when she assumed the music directorship of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Extremely popular, she has reinvigorated the orchestra. Alsop also has been chief conductor (2012) and music director (2013) of the São Paolo Symphony Orchestra. Throughout her career, she has shown particular interest in Romantic, contemporary, and American music.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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