Marin Alsop: Being the first woman orchestra director has been a horrible struggle

The In-EDIT Festival of Music Documentaries held in Barcelona until this Sunday includes within its programming the movie 'The Driver', dedicated to Orquesta

Marin Alsop: Being the first woman orchestra director has been a horrible struggle

The In-EDIT Festival of Music Documentaries held in Barcelona until this Sunday includes within its programming the movie 'The Driver', dedicated to Orquesta Marin Alsop Director. Born in New York in 1956, Alsoop has been the first woman in leading a great American orchestra and the first to lead in the British Proms. Formed as a violinist, she created a string swing orchestra formed solely by women, before taking the step to the direction, as it is reported in the documentary, directed by Bernadette Wegenstein.

"I'm not a person very focused on my ego," explains Alsoop in videoconference. "And to appear for so long in a movie I feel that it is a bit indulgent, but, in the end, it's my story, and if I feel that I am exposed it is because I am very reserved, I do not usually share with people all the details of my life" . Thus, in the documentary one of the voices is that of his wife, Kristin Jurkscheit, with whom he has a son.

"But I also perceive," he says, "that this is an honest project and I am excited by the reaction of many people, especially some young women who have said that seeing it has been an inspiration for what they do. So if I can help them, I can help them, That makes me very happy .... although seeing me for 90 minutes is not really my idea to have a good time, "he jokes.

For 16 years, Alsoop has been the only woman in running a great American orchestra. "So, clearly, this was a battle that had to fight, I'm glad to be the only one who has been able to fight it and I'm glad that no one else has to fight on that horrible fight," she says in the movie

"Be 'the first woman in ...' is part of the story," Abunda Alsoop. "But also because the way to become a director is a challenge for anyone, man or woman, and requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice. You have to want to work hard and accept criticism and difficulties."

"I'm glad that another woman has been a few weeks ago, my good friend Nathalie Stutzman, has been chosen to lead a great US orchestra [Atlanta]. Let's continue along this path and, perhaps, this story is left over bottom and not on the front page. Somehow, I feel that is already happening, "he reflects.

The disciple of Leonard Bernstein maintains that "to have the top of any field, especially as a woman, you have to have this steel will." Which connects with the idea of power that carries the baton. "We are really evolving from a despotic and almost tyrannical relationship, with all that hierarchy and that image of the director as the definitive figure of power, it is true that when I think of someone who directs an orchestra, or in his stereotype, I do not think about someone Like me, "Pose Alsop.

"Karajan, for example, was actually very shy and a very nice person," he recalls. "So we still continue fighting that stereotype when, suddenly, a new genre appears on the podium, something that people are not used to. But everything we do has to do with gesture and body language. The form In which society interprets a woman's body language is not the same as the way in which he plays that of a man. "

Which refers, once again, to power. "Any great leader has to maintain a balance between authority and compassion," she says. "But I do not believe that an orchestra can be a democracy, where all the contributions from all over the world are accepted and decided by consensus. No: My responsibility is to be the 'messenger' of the composer. And I will give my life for it, because it is to that to what I do. "

"I see music," he shoots, "as a dream that you can cross and explore. And what I like about it is that it is not a partisan. You do not have to listen in a concrete way or react in a certain way. Because any way Reaction is a good reaction. "

Updated Date: 08 November 2021, 16:49

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