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Marin Alsop
Photo: Kym Thompson

Staff Report

NEW YORK, 24 JANUARY 2006—American conductor Marin Alsop is the sole classical music performer attending the World Economic Forum's annual conference this year in Davos, Switzerland. Held from 25 to 29 January at the exclusive ski resort in the Swiss Alps, the Davos forum is, both a networking event where it rains business cards and a magnet for anti-globalisation campaigns and demonstrations. Invited guests, speakers and journalists jockey to rub shoulders during meetings and gala dinners with the international political and business elite of the planet. Bill Gates, Richard Branson,  George Soros, current and former heads of state and cabinet ministers, and CEOs from most of the Fortune 100 companies typically attend.

Apart from Alsop's controversial career as an orchestra conductor, a profession historically reserved for men, one can also assume that the 48-year old native New Yorker's presence in Davos reflects her status as a MacArthur Fellow. Last September, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Alsop one of their  "genius grants", a five-year, $500,000 unrestricted fellowship awarded to individuals across all ages and fields who, according to the MacArthur Foundation, "show exceptional merit and promise of continued and enhanced creative work". Awards to musicians have been rare, and mainly limited to composers and jazz performers.  Alsop is currently principal conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in England and will be the Baltimore Symphony's next music director.

At the conference Marin Alsop is expected to speak on four different topics: Role Models for the Next Generation, Leadership and the Musical Mind, Women and Leadership, and in a session called, It's Not Just About the Money , which focuses on motivation in the workplace.

Other cultural figures attending this year's World Economic Forum include Bono, Peter Gabriel, Rem Koolhaus, Angelina Jolie, Michael Douglas and Thomas Krens. Other Davos attendees with ties to the classical music community include Michael Kaiser, Peter Sellars and Alexander Pereira.


Marin Alsop Web Site

World Economic Forum

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