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Marin Alsop Wins Gramophone Artist of the Year

Text Box: Mad about Marin: Maestra Alsop at the Gramophone Awards ceremony.

Naxos favourite Marin Alsop took the top prize at the Gramophone Awards on Sunday, 10 October by winning the coveted Artist of the Year Award.  The Gramophone Awards, considered by many to be the highest honours in the classical music industry, were awarded in a ceremony in London’s Barbican Hall.

This year marked a change in the voting process for the award, with Gramophone choosing a selection of musicians who have had a significant impact on culture in the past year and asking readers to vote for their choice via the magazine or  According to Gramophone, Alsop quickly took the lead during week two of voting and “never looked back.”

With true conducting talent combined with an incredible gift for communication, it is no wonder that Alsop has won the hearts – and the votes – of music fans the world over.  Her other conquests include the North American media, with frequent contributions to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, a guest spot on Good Morning, America, and a recent appearance on CBC Radio 2, as well as the British press, who lauded her debut season with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.  Gramophone editor James Jolly profiled her for the cover story of the October 2003 issue of Gramophone, and she won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Conductor’s Award in 2002 for her work with Bournemouth.

Alsop says she is “thrilled” about being Artist of the Year, and cites her relationship with Naxos as one that is “rewarding because it allows me the breadth of repertoire that I need to grow and develop and be fulfilled as an artist along with the opportunity to work with a wide range of orchestras.”  Still occasionally finding time to play jazz violin with friends in New York and to maintain a busy guest conducting schedule in addition to her permanent positions, Alsop also has made several acclaimed recordings for the Naxos American Classics series, including works by Barber, Bernstein, and Torke.  According to Gramophone Editor James Jolly, “Her Barber series with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra has won many friends. Not only is the music instantly accessible but the passion she brings to it sweeps you up. For her first recording with her new orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony, she chose the music of her mentor, Leonard Bernstein. She brings to it the same immediacy and zest that characterised Bernstein’s own performances.”  The new Bernstein disc, which features the memorable Chichester Psalms, along with the exuberant On the Town and On the Waterfront, appears on both UK and US classical charts.

Next year holds even more promises of success for Alsop, who calls 2003-2004 a “major” season.  Guest appearances across the U.S. and a major European tour with the Bournemouth Symphony highlight the year, which ends with a production of AdamsNixon in China in June with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as well as several summer music festivals.  Although she is the newly-christened Gramophone Artist of the Year and the first female conductor of a major British orchestra, Alsop needs no moniker to make herself known—her conducting speaks for itself.

For a complete list of this year’s Gramophone Award winners, go to

For more information:

Chichester Memories - Reflections on a Choral Masterpiece



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