Marin Alsop’s fond memories of Gustav Meier

Marin Alsop’s fond memories of Gustav Meier


norman lebrecht

May 28, 2016

The Baltimore Symphony conductor started out studying with Gustav Meier, the legendary teacher who died this week, and went on to be his teaching partner at Cabrillo and Peabody.

Here’s Marin’s instant tribute to her mentor and friend:

There are people we meet who change our lives and there are people we meet who touch our hearts; Gustav Meier did both and much. much more.  He was one of my dearest friends…he was my family.”

I first met Gustav at Tanglewood in1988 and immediately understood the transformational nature of his teaching. I returned to Tanglewood in 1989 and our bond grew deeper. I spent the next few years traveling to study with him in Ann Arbor as often as possible.  Over the years our relationship changed from teacher/student to colleagues to friends and family. He joined me in teaching at Cabrillo and, serendipitously, we both ended up in Baltimore. Some of our happiest moments together were spent talking about the great music we felt so privileged to study and conduct.  His life was devoted to music and young people and he gave so much to so many. 

I am heartbroken to lose him, but am intensely grateful for the many memories that remain, alongside his insatiable curiosity and quiet, “Swiss” enthusiasm, that I will always cherish.


marin alsop gustav meiergustav meier auden alsop

Marin between Gustav Meier and her son, Auden Alsop photos (c) Marin Alsop


  • Jeffrey Bell-Hanson says:

    I only sat in as an observer on a couple of his masterclasses, but he taught me a great deal in those sessions.

  • someone says:

    Marin Alsop remains as a very decent, diligent and nice conductor in my memory.
    It was good to see that the Queen Elizabeth competition dedicated some minutes to thank her and present a bouquet of flowers to her.

    It must have been really, really hard to break the glass ceiling.
    I think all the young female conductors nowadays owe something to her.