Marin Alsop has been named as the new chief conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP) from the start of the 2012 season. Her contract is for five years and will embrace concert-giving (some 30 to 40 concerts per season) and recording, as well as education and outreach activities, and she will lead the artistic and creative programming for the orchestra. She will take on this post alongside her music directorship of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (having renewed her contract there until 2015).
"I was truly impressed with the quality and commitment of the OSESP,” Marin Alsop said, “and I am thrilled by the enormous possibilities in front of us. I have been incredibly inspired by the musicians' desire to make great music at an extremely high level, combined with their openness and hunger to embrace new ideas and initiatives. I was immediately struck by the whole organisation’s sense of adventure and their willingness to break through barriers in order to achieve the highest goals. Brazil is currently undergoing an economic and cultural revival and I look forward immensely to both contributing to and to being part of that in the future.”
Marcelo Lopes, executive director of OSESP replied: "When I heard Marin's speech at the American Symphony Orchestra League Conference in Nashville in 2007, I was completely thrilled with her enthusiasm for music as a motor of human growth. I strongly believe she is the right conductor to inspire our musicians, to bring them into innovative projects and consolidate the orchestra as a first-class international institution. We feel very lucky and delighted with this new partnership."
The 109-strong São Paulo Symphony was founded in 1954 and annually performs over 90 concerts in its impressive 1500-seat hall, the Sala São Paulo, which was created from a former railway station. São Paulo is Brazil’s most populous and economically important city and is the largest metropolis in the Southern Hemisphere. The OSESP has 11,000 subscribers and runs educational programmes attended by nearly 80,000 students every year. The orchestra’s discography runs to over 30 CDs released in Brazil by Biscoito Fino and internationally by BIS. It was recently named by Gramophone as one of the three most exciting, up-and-coming orchestras
Marin Alsop succeeds Yan Pascal Tortelier, principal conductor from 2009 to 2011, who will become guest conductor of honour for 2012 and 2013. The OSESP has also named Brazilian-born conductor Celso Antunes as Brazilian associate conductor, for five years from 2012.