Premiering Friday, Mar. 25 at 8 p.m.
“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. Featuring cinema verité scenes of Alsop conducting some of the world’s great orchestras, the new #PBSForTheArts documentary.
Set to a carefully curated soundtrack, “Great Performances: The Conductor” tells Alsop’s story through a combination of rehearsal and performance footage from Baltimore, Brazil, Switzerland, New York City and includes previously unseen archival footage with her mentor Bernstein. The film takes an up-close look at the conductor through intimate interviews with music experts including São Paulo Symphony Orchestra artistic director Arthur Nestrovski, Richmond City Orchestra music director Valentina Peleggi, wife Kristin Jurkscheit, members of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and more.