Marin Alsop Leads BSO in Music from Film ALEXANDER NEVSKY, Now thru 1/13

Marin Alsop Leads BSO in Music from Film ALEXANDER NEVSKY, Now thru 1/13

The concert hall is transformed into the movie theater when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), lead by Music Director Marin Alsop, with soprano Irina Tchistjakova and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society perform Sergei Prokofiev's music score from Sergei Eisenstein's classic 1938 motion picture Alexander Nevsky. The BSO and guests will perform this majestic score live while the film is projected behind them tonight, January 11, 2013 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 13, 2013 at 3 p.m. at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and Saturday, January 12, 2013 at 8 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. Please see below for complete program details.

The 1938 historical drama Alexander Nevsky depicts the title character's improbable defeat of the invading Teutonic Knights in the mid-13th century Battle of the Ice, keeping safe his kingdom of Novgorod. The film was directed by pioneering Russian director Sergei Eisenstein, who employed special effects and cinematic techniques that were considered advanced for the era, with a musical score by Sergei Prokofiev. The creative collaboration between director and composer is heralded as an industry standard for filmmakers. Perhaps what fueled their synergy was their shared desire to create a popular hit that would be also be viewed favorably by Josef Stalin, thus keeping them safe from Stalinist purges. Yet the trying circumstance in which the film score was composed is not reflected in its vivid, inspirational music, reminiscent of Russian folk tunes. The degraded quality of the original soundtrack's recording, however, does not do justice to Prokofiev's compelling score. Marin Alsop and the BSO remedy this with live orchestral performances to accompany screenings of this legendary masterpiece.

Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Marin Alsop, the BSO has become a leader among American orchestras for its unique programs designed around unified themes of cultural significance and broad appeal. Alexander Nevsky is part of the BSO's season-long celebration of the marriage of film and music. Other cinema-inspired programs performed this season include Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times (May 10-12) and Leonard Bernstein's movie musical West Side Story (June 13-16).

"Great cinema has the power to inspire, excite, entertain and make us laugh," says BSO Music Director Marin Alsop. "A crucial component of a great film is a captivating and compelling musical score. I'm thrilled to present some of the best movies throughout the ages, enhanced by full orchestral scores with themes that have become embedded in the soundtrack of our culture."

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 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, beginning in the current 2012-13 season.

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. 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 Dvo?ák.

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.