Metro Weekly

National Orchestral Institute + Festival 2021 features multiple performances throughout June

Marin Alsop makes her debut as the first-ever music director of the festival

The Clarice University of Maryland: National Orchestral Institute Festival -- Photo: David Andrews
The Clarice University of Maryland: National Orchestral Institute Festival — Photo: David Andrews

This week, New York’s Tribeca Film Festival premiered The Conductor, a new documentary providing a rare view into the life and career of Marin Alsop — “a character who by her nature chooses her words carefully, and is a self-proclaimed introvert,” says director Bernadette Wegenstein in the film’s official statement.

At the same time, the trailblazer in classical music — designated the first woman to lead major classical orchestras in the U.S., South America, Austria, and Britain — is busy finishing out her 14-year tenure as head of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which culminates this weekend with a gala celebration and program featuring Renée Fleming and available as a public television broadcast and livestream.

Alsop has simultaneously started her career’s next chapter, including a prominent new position with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Closer to home, Alsop is making her debut as the first-ever music director of the National Orchestral Institute + Festival. Emerging orchestral musicians from across the country are currently immersed in a month-long series of rehearsals, masterclasses, seminars, and performances at the University of Maryland’s Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

Alsop will lead the students in a program featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s adventurous epic Scheherazade from the podium at The Clarice’s Dekelboum Concert Hall on Saturday, June 26, at 7 p.m. Other NOI Philharmonic concerts part of this year’s festival include a program featuring Dvořák’s New World Symphony and led by conductor Ruth Reindhart, Saturday, June 19, at 7 p.m. and another featuring Florence Price’s Piano Concerto in One Movement, with the orchestra led by conductor James Ross and guest pianist Natalia Kazaryan, on Sunday, June 20, at 3 p.m.

A New Directions program featuring works written by NOI Composition Fellows as conducted by NOI Conducting Fellows will take place on Friday, June 25, at 7 p.m. All concerts are available for $25 in-person tickets at Dekelboum or $15 for at-home livestream. Visit https://theclarice.umd.edu.

Meanwhile, Alsop will lead the NOI Philharmonic while also making her Wolf Trap debut in a program in the Filene Center headlined by Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony and offered as one of two “Thank You Community Concerts” exclusively for invited first-responders, on Thursday, June 24. Visit www.wolftrap.org.

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