2012 Sackler Center First Awards: Marin Alsop


Our next three recipients are all giants in
the performing arts. The first of these, the amazing Marin Alsop, can’t be with us today.
She’s busy. She’s the first woman to head a major American orchestra. The great joy
for me was the moment when my father took me to see the New York Philharmonic. They
had this conductor named Andros. I was nine years old and I remember the day like it was
yesterday. That was the day I decided what I wanted to do. I’ve never changed my mind.
It was a bit of a challenge to figure out, of course. I think that women who are at the
front of their fields often have to find a new path, forge a new path. When I was growing
up, there weren’t really any women who were at the helm of a major orchestra. It is, unfortunately,
still a rarity. Even in this day and age. I think that mentorship is an important part
of who we are as human beings. Part of my initiative is to always be a mentor, always
be available and try to set a standard for learning that is follow your passion…edge
experience. I am very very proud, of course. I hope that very soon, this century, this
year, there can still be firsts for women. I long for a time when there are no more first,
no more of those barriers that we have to forge our way through. I can’t thank you enough
for this incredible privilege of the “Sackler Center First” award. For me, being counted
among these incredible women who have really changed society is an honor unto itself. I
only wish I could be there tonight to celebrate with all of you.

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