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Marin Alsop. Photo courtesy of Adriane White
Music

Classical Music’s Leading Lady Returns to Colorado

Marin Alsop broke through gender barriers to become the most renowned woman conductor in classical music. This month, she returns to Denver, where she got her start.

When Marin Alsop steps onto the stage at Boettcher Concert Hall this month, it will be a reunion: The Colorado Symphony is where Alsop made her name nearly 30 years ago as the symphony’s first female music director and conductor. Denver has a long history of women in classical music, starting with Antonia Brico, who founded what’s now the Denver Philharmonic in 1948, and JoAnn Falletta, the music director of the defunct Denver Chamber Orchestra from 1983 to 1992. Nevertheless, across orchestral music as a whole, women remain underrepresented among the genre’s leadership. After Alsop completed her tenure at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra this past August, there were exactly zero women in charge of the 25 biggest orchestras in the United States. That’s despite Alsop’s efforts to bring gender equity to conducting through the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, which she co-founded two decades ago to train and support female conductors. As Alsop continues her advocacy, you can see the talent that has made her a legend as she leads the Colorado Symphony for three days starting on January 7.

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