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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 July 2005, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Sour note over new music maestro
By Oliver Conway
BBC News, Washington

Marin Alsop
Marin Alsop is considered one of the world's best female conductors
The first woman to head a major US orchestra has been appointed, despite opposition from musicians.

Marin Alsop was confirmed as musical director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra after an overwhelming vote in favour by the board of directors.

But the news was apparently greeted in silence by the orchestra's musicians, who were rehearsing at the time.

Ms Alsop is currently principal director at Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in Britain.

Her appointment to the role of maestro in one of the world's top orchestras means she has broken through what has traditionally been a male preserve.

But it has not been without opposition from some of those who will be working under her.

When it became clear she was going to be appointed, a statement from the musicians said a "vast majority" wanted the search to continue.

But on Tuesday, the board of directors overwhelmingly affirmed her selection.

The orchestra was rehearsing at the time and received the news in silence, according to one musician.

Another, who had sat on the search committee, said their artistic expertise was being disregarded.

Marin Alsop, a 48-year-old American, will take up her new role in Baltimore when Yuri Temirkanov steps down at the end of the 2006-07 season.


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