Marin Alsop Leads the BSO in Off the Cuff Concert, Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra, January 20 & 21

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In this fascinating look at Also sprach Zarathustra, Marin Alsop delves into the nuances and history of this popular work, most recognized by modern-day audiences from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Music Director, Marin Alsop, conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in an Off the Cuff series presentation that explores Strauss’ epic Also sprach Zarathustra on Friday, January 20 at 8:15 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore and Saturday, January 21 at 7 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. In this fascinating look at Also sprach Zarathustra, Marin Alsop delves into the nuances and history of this popular work, most recognized by modern-day audiences from 2001: A Space Odyssey. The BSO’s Off the Cuff series offers a fresh take on classical music by exploring the lives of the composers, making the performances entertaining and engaging for music enthusiasts of any level. In addition, Maestra Alsop invites patrons to join her for a post-concert Q&A session. Joining her for this program’s Q&A session will be Eckart Förster, a professor of philosophy at The Johns Hopkins University and a leading expert on German idealism. Please see below for complete program details.

Gaining mass popularity after its use in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Strauss’ famous tone poem, Also sprach Zarathustra, has come to be associated with mystery and anticipation. Consisting of one, interlinked movement in eight unbroken sections, this composition was inspired by the book Also sprach Zarathustra, which contains a series of 80 discourses on a variety of moral and philosophical topics by German philosopher and poet Friedrich Nietzsche. As Strauss explained, “I meant… to convey in music an idea of the evolution of the human race from its origin, through the various phases of development, religious as well as scientific…. The whole symphonic poem is intended as my homage to the genius of Nietzsche."

Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world’s leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.

In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award, in 2008 she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2009 Musical America named her “Conductor of the Year.” In November 2010, she was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame. In February 2011, Marin Alsop was named the music director of the Orquestra Sinfônica do estado de São Paulo (OSESP), or the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, effective for the 2012-13 season. Ms. Alsop was named to Guardian’s Top 100 Women list in March 2011. In 2011 Marin Alsop was named an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre in London, England.

A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms, Barber and Dvořák.

Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.

Eckart Förster, philosopher
Eckart Förster is a Professor of Philosophy at The Johns Hopkins University, with joint appointments in German and the Humanities Center. He is also Honorary Professor of Philosophy at the Humboldt University in Berlin (Germany). Professor Förster previously taught at Oxford, Harvard, Stanford, and the University of Munich, and held visiting appointments at Princeton, Porto Alegre (Brazil), and as Max Kade Professor of Philosophy and German at Ohio State. He has held Guggenheim and ACLS fellowships and spent 1987-1988 as a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center. Professor Förster is a member of the Kant Kommission of the Berlin-Brandenburgian Academy of Science, and of the Schelling and Jacobi Kommissionen of the Bavarian Academy of Science. He has published widely on Kant and German Idealism, especially on Kant's Opus postumum, and is the author, most recently, of Die 25 Jahre der Philosophie (Klostermann, 2011). Other current research interests include Goethe's philosophy of science, the Pythagorean tradition and Hölderlin.

BSO Off the Cuff: Also sprach Zarathustra!
Friday, January 20, 2012 at 8:15 p.m. – Music Center at Strathmore
Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 7 p.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Marin Alsop, conductor

R. Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra

Tickets range from $28 to $88 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or


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Laura Farmer
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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