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BSO appoints new director (Baltimore Symphony)

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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-05 11:12 PM
Original message
BSO appoints new director (Baltimore Symphony)
Despite pleas by its musicians that it consider other candidates, the board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Tuesday formally offered the post of music director to Marin Alsop, the principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in England, who will become the first woman to head a major American orchestra.

The dispute between the BSO's administrators and musicians poses an immediate challenge to Alsop, 48, who is scheduled to sign a contract here Wednesday but faces daunting problems in winning the loyalty of the roughly 90-member orchestra. The appointment will be effective in 2007. <snip>

Although the musicians avoided criticizing Alsop by name in statements released last weekend by the players committee, they objected to what they viewed as a one-sided search, with some BSO staffers and board members appearing to back Alsop exclusively from the official start of the search seven months ago, if not before. All seven musician members of the search committee and about 90 percent of the orchestra were in favor of extending the search process, according to a statement released Sunday. <snip>

more here: http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/arts/bal-artslife-...


While I'm all for the hiring of a woman conductor, (it's long overdue!), my instincts are telling me this appointment is a big mistake. The arguments I heard from those opposed to hiring Alsop sounded perfectly legit...not the stuff of gender discrimination cases.

She seems like a good conductor, from what I've seen of her; but maybe not the right one for the BSO.
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-05 11:16 PM
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1. My conductor told me about this
at the board meeting tonight. He was a bit taken aback by the whole thing. Can you imagine? Our board is not made up of musicians so when we did a search we musicians were given a lot to say about the candidates and they listened to us. She is going to have an uncomfortable first season knowing from the podium that the orchestra does not want her there.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-05 11:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. An interesting tidbit from the story:
"Next year, she is scheduled to become the first woman in over a century to conduct the famed Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam."

That's pretty impressive...
Maybe the BSO's experience with her was limited to pops concerts?
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MuseRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-05 11:29 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. That is impressive
and long overdue.

I don't know but I do know that under similar circumstances my orchestra would not do well. We chose our conductor and we made a very good choice for us. To have the board choose, well, you can imagine.
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GoddessOfGuinness Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-19-05 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I imagine the board chose because of:
1) The notoriety that this will bring to them...especially since they're in financial distress, and need more subscribers.

and

2) Potential grant money they may receive for taking this step.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 05:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Bingo!
It's really a shame that her first order of business will be dealing with hostile musicians. She's FABULOUS.
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