Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Speed interview, Marin Alsop

Mon Feb 1 2016

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We’re back with Marin Alsop at the Royal Festival Hall on 6 February 2016. So we thought we’d put her through our speed interview again. 

What/when was your big breakthrough?
Conducting a concert with Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood. He was my hero and then my teacher and mentor and my inspiration.

What do you fear the most?
Being afraid.

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My best friend, Leslie. Mostly because my family gets annoyed if I call too much!

What – or where – is perfection?
Taking a walk with my son. Talking and laughing together.

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera), and why?
Leonore from Fidelio. The woman as hero, empowered by the strength of love. Wouldn’t this be a better world if all heroes were like her?

What’s your favourite ritual?
Early mornings at home, studying and hanging with my family.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Malala, Jude Kelly, Obama, Bill Gates. All people who want to change the world…

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I wish I could draw and paint. And do home repairs, too!

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
My father always said, ‘if you don’t enjoy the rehearsals, you’ll never enjoy the concert.’ Enjoy every experience and never take yourself too seriously.

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Brahms Requiem and Bernstein MASS.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
Everything! With the OAE it’s all about the music. And we enjoy the rehearsals!

Marin conducts the Orchestra in Marin, Madness and Music, with music from Schumann and Brahms on 6 February 2016 more info / tickets


  • Such an inspiring woman. All that talent but she has both feet firmly on the ground and a wonderful sense of humour. We love her in Britain.

    Margaret Stewart Mon Feb 1 2016
  • Marin Alsop, you are an inspiration to musician’s and music lovers way beyond the classical domain – even those of us who specialise in Rock, Pop & Soul music. Your love of music is contagious. Love your BBC Proms appearances. Your father’s tip about enjoying rehearsals is brilliant. Keep doing what you’re doing! Thank you.

    Baz Golin Tue Feb 2 2016