Marin Alsop’s tenure as Ravinia Festival’s chief conductor will continue through 2025, a new Ravinia statement announces. The release also shares the development of a new, Alsop-led programming push: an annual weekend called the Breaking Barriers Festival, which, the release details, “will celebrate diverse artists and leaders” in classical music.
In her role as chief conductor, Alsop curates and conducts a three-week stretch of programs with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Embedded within that residency will be the Breaking Barriers Festival; this year’s focus will be on women conductors and include tributes to Margaret Hillis, the trailblazing founder of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, as well as Leonard Bernstein, Alsop’s mentor.
That weekend’s programming will also include a screening of The Conductor, a Great Performances-produced documentary about Also that will air on WTTW in March.
Other Breaking Barriers highlights will include panel discussions, a family concert, and a selection by Jessie Montgomery. The weekend will also feature appearances by Janai Brugger, Esperanza Spalding, artists from the Silk Road Ensemble, and Jaye Ladymore, who has acted on Chicago-set TV shows The Chi, Empire, and Chicago P.D. Also making appearances will be Jeri Lynne Johnson, Laura Jackson, and Anna Duczmal-Mróz, who are current and former recipients of the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, which seeks to support and promote women conductors.
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The announcement also previews Alsop’s other, non-Breaking Barriers Festival programs, including performances of the New World Symphony, Brahms’ German Requiem, and a fundraising gala featuring Tony winner Leslie Odom, Jr. Audiences of Alsop’s 2022 residency will also hear music by composers from underrepresented groups: Julia Perry, Grażyna Bacewicz, and Marcus Roberts, who will be performing his own compositions. Other high-profile guest performers will include pianist Stewart Goodyear and baritone Matthias Goerne.
Alsop was appointed as Ravinia’s chief conductor in early 2020, several weeks before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though 2020 was to be her first year in this role, that season’s cancellation postponed her inaugural summer to 2021. Formerly the music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, Alsop currently serves as the chief conductor of the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra in addition to her role at Ravinia, which was created for her.
Ticketing and further programming information will be available in the spring. Visit ravinia.org for more information.