Marin Alsop

influential books

November 11, 2007

Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. In 2005, Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first and only conductor to receive this prestigious American award. The three books that most influenced her:

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"The Magic Mountain" By Thomas Mann (Everyman's Library $26)

His writing is so symphonic in structure and content and its ambiguities allow for immense interpretive license. For me, Mann captures the intensity of German philosophy and art at the turn of the century in a way that I can absorb and internalize.

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"On the Psychology of the Unconscious" By Carl Jung (Modern Library $24.95)

Jung's insights into the conscious vs. the unconscious mind; the embracing of duality within every individual (femininity and masculinity, dark and light, etc); the discussion of universal archetypes and the references to mythology and folk tale ... each of these areas inspired me to delve deeper into myself and look at the outside world in a new and multidimensional way.

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"Crime and Punishment" By Fyodor Dostoevsky (Wordsworth Classics $5.95)

This is a story that comes back to me frequently, especially as our society's moral and ethical compass shifts and gets redefined as a result of human conceit.

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