marin alsop split image

A pioneering female conductor has returned to the venue where she made history 10 years ago.

Marin Alsop (USA) conducted Last Night of the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 9 September, the very same venue where she became the first female Last Night of the Proms conductor on 7 September 2013.

The latest event marked her third Last Night of the Proms.

Marin Alsop conducts Last Night of the Proms

She said: “I’m thrilled to be back for my third LNOP! This 10-year anniversary is very special and I have family, friends and supporters of the Taki ALSOP Conducting Fellowship attending!”

The Taki Fellowship is a two-year award that primarily includes intensive coaching and mentoring with Marin and other music industry professionals. Since 2003, 30 female conductors have been chosen to participate in the programme.

Although Marin set her record 10 years ago, it has only just been officially recognized thanks to the Donne Foundation.

marin alsop conducting

The charitable foundation celebrates women in music and is dedicated to achieving gender equality in the industry.

It works to celebrate, advance, and amplify women in music so that they are seen, heard, and appreciated for their talent and so they can leave a legacy of inspiration for future generations.

On how it feels to be a record holder, Marin added: “It’s an honour but also surprising that it took so long.”

marin alsop on stage

The Donne Foundation has also helped Guinness World Records to create a record for first female conductor at the Royal Albert Hall.

That title belongs to Clara Novello Davies (UK; 1861-1943), who conducted the Royal Welsh Ladies’ Choir at the Madame Adelina Patti grand morning concert on 4 June 1896.

Welsh singer, teacher and conductor Clara founded the choir at the age of 22.

Clara Novello Davies

The Donne Foundation and Royal Albert Hall announced a partnership in March this year, working together to promote women in music.

Soprano Gabriella Di Laccio, founder of the Donne Foundation, got to work with the famous venue’s archive team to dig up amazing stories of women who’ve made history on the stage.

After discovering the groundbreaking performances from Clara and Marin, Gabriella contacted Guinness World Records to ask for the records to be considered.

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