Vienna gives Marin Alsop two more years

Vienna gives Marin Alsop two more years


norman lebrecht

March 02, 2022

The ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra has added two more years to the American conductor’s four-year contrct, taking her up to summer 2025.

ORF radio director Ingrid Thurnher is highly satisfied with ‘diverse and exciting concerts with numerous premieres and first performances and outstanding CD productions, but also tours and guest performances.’


  • Violino I says:

    There are so many great female conductors out there, why picking the one that has no technique, musicianship or talent (especially when it comes to Viennese music)?!

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      First off, she’s not conducting solely “Viennese music” in Wien. Her first – and so far, only – CD issue with the ORF Wien is a Paul Hindemith program. Hindemith could hardly be described as ‘Viennese’ in the usual sense of Schubert, Johann Strauss, Bruckner, Alban Berg, etc. Furthermore, the ORF Wien is an orchestra – as with all of the Austro/German radio orchestras – that has had a long tradition of performing 20th Century works from all nationalities. Second, she was among the first of the current women composers to get work and recognition. Third, as someone who has seen her conduct in both the Cabrillo Music Festival, and with the Baltimore Symphony on tour, your comment that Alsop has “no technique, musicianship or talent”, couldn’t possibly be farther from the truth. Nobody is forcing you to go to Vienna to hear her conduct. If you want to hear more traditional ‘Viennese’ music, stick to the Philharmonic and the numerous New Year’s Concerts recordings that are already out there.

    • JG says:

      Really? Name one that has her background. All of the others are here because of her mentoring. She is fantastic musician and a trailblazer.

  • Orchestra musician says:

    MA does not make music – though she wish she could. She is only there to promote herself through agendas such as “diversity” and “equality” which sound good, but in fact, turn our field into a complete joke while making young musicians think it’s all about being “diverse” enough and being on social media 24/7 to promote your “diversity”. Extraordinary skills? Knowledge? Naaaa… You don’t really need them anymore.

  • IP says:

    A fantastic conductor who leaves her male colleagues behind.

    (I am referring to Susanna Mälkki of course).

  • From Vienna with love says:

    The ORF should strive for much better than Alsop, but I guess that as a mid-level European orchestra which is also struggling financially, they just can’t afford it.

  • just saying says:

    Any time an article shows up about Marin Alsop on this site, you know the comments will be good… *munches popcorn

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Have any of you armchair conducting aficionados actually listened to her CD of Paul Hindemith with the ORF Vienna Orchestra? . . . I have and I think it’s a very solid contribution to the catalog. In addition to the ubiquitous “Mather der Mahler” Symphony (nicely done, in my opinion), in contains two rarities from Hindemith’s earlier period that are – to my taste (or lack thereof) – rather fun to listen to. Those are the symphonic dances from “Nusch-Nuschi” (1921), and his Op. 21 “Sancta Susanna” – a sort of one act ‘expressionistic’ melodrama. It’s not too terribly different from Schoenberg’s “Erwartung”, I suppose, but far more ‘listenable’ in my estimation. If you’re willing to give Alsop a fair shot in her latest gig, give this a listen.

  • Althea T-H says:

    Many anti-Marin comments on here…

    I performed Mahler 6 under her, many years ago, and found her baton technique to be exceedingly good (as one would expect from someone who had studied with Bernstein): way above the normal standard on the London scene.

  • Max Raimi says:

    The hostility to Ms Alsop on this site (invariably expressed by contemptible snipers too cowardly to post with their real names) is baffling and appalling. I have found her to be brilliant and extremely musical. She is skillful, kind and respectful in her dealings with the musicians in her charge. She has led the Chicago Symphony in what I considered to be many wonderful performances. I always look forward to working with her.

    • John says:

      Nice speech, Max. Only audiences don’t enjoy her performances because she is flat and totally without charisma. No doubt your orchestra has a different perspective, but the conductor doesn’t perform for you.

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Don’t sweat it. I consider ‘thumbs down’ a badge of honor around these experts.

  • Nina Kaplan says:

    It’s a shame to see so many negative things about Marin Alsop.
    I live between Washington DC and Baltimore and my friends and I have been regularly attending her concerts ever since she took over the BSO which was not easy after Temirkanov’s departure.
    But she persevered and was wholeheartedly accepted by the orchestra.
    Over the years we were never disappointed and are going to miss her so much and are looking forward to her occasional returns to conduct the BSO.
    Good luck to all your future endeavors our beloved maestra!