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

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

Read More:

Opera Lafayette celebrates Fête de la Musique in D.C.

Extreme Lengths explores intimacy through distance with intriguing outdoor performance ‘People Watching’

Sunset Cinema at The Wharf screens Aquaman, Best in Show, Girls Trip and more

Support Metro Weekly’s Journalism

These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!