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Great Performances: The Conductor, Fri 3/25 @ 9pm on WXXI-TV

Conductor Marin Alsop with arms raised in front of the orchestra

Follow Marin Alsop’s journey to become the first female music director of a major American symphony.

Great Performances: The Conductor tells the story of the first female conductor of a major symphony, Marin Alsop. Documenting Alsop’s journey from playing the violin as an ambitious nine-year-old who longed to conduct, to attending Juilliard, to creating her own all-female string orchestra and swing band, to ultimately becoming music director of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Despite repeated rejection from the classical music establishment, Alsop persevered and blazed her own trail which gained her attention as a conductor and opened new opportunities for her that led to studying with legendary composer Leonard Bernstein.

More from Alsop on women conductors: Watch as Ms. Alsop works with two rising female conductors, Lina González-Granados and Alexandra Arrieche, on their technique and how to break into the male-dominated industry.