Speakers: Baltimore

Marin Alsop

Music Director | Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and Chief Conductor | ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (Vienna RSO)

Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice, a conductor of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives”. She is recognized internationally for her innovative approach to programming and audience development, for her deep commitment to education and advocating for music’s importance in the world.

From the 2019/20 season, Alsop becomes Chief Conductor of the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (Vienna RSO), performing in their main series at the Wiener Konzerthaus and Wiener Musikverein, recording, broadcasting, and touring nationally and internationally. Her first season coincides with the orchestra’s 50th anniversary and will emphasize women in classical music.

Her outstanding success as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) since 2007 has resulted in two extensions in her tenure until 2021. Alsop has led the orchestra on its first European tour in 13 years and created several bold initiatives including Orchkids, for the city’s most disadvantaged young people. At the end of 2019, following a seven-year tenure as Music Director, she becomes Conductor of Honour of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra (OSESP), where she will return to conduct major projects each season.

Throughout 2020, Alsop launches a global project to mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, in collaboration with Carnegie Hall. Her goal is to bring the messages of tolerance, unity and joy in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to life for our 21st Century. She will conduct reimagined performances of Beethoven’s ninth symphony on five continents, with newly commissioned texts and music. Partners including the Vienna RSO, BSO, OSESP, Sydney and New Zealand symphonies, Johannesburg and Kwazulu-Natal philharmonics and Southbank Centre, where she is Associate Artist.

Marin Alsop conducts the world’s major orchestras, including the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Budapest Festival and Royal Concertgebouw orchestras, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and has long-standing relationships with the London Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), where she returns this season. Further highlights of the 2019/20 season include the Orchestre de Paris, Danish National Symphony and Philadelphia orchestras. In the US, she also regularly conducts the Cleveland and Chicago Symphony orchestras and leads multiple projects each year at the Ravinia Festival.

Her extensive discography has led to multiple Gramophone awards and includes highly praised Naxos cycles of Brahms with the LPO, Dvořák with the BSO, Prokofiev with OSESP, and further recordings for Decca, Harmonia Mundi and Sony Classical. She is dedicated to new music, demonstrated in her 25-year tenure as Music Director of California’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

In 2019 Alsop was awarded the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum, is the only conductor to receive the MacArthur Fellowship and, in September 2013, made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms. Amongst many other awards and academic positions, she is Director of Graduate Conducting at the Johns Hopkins Peabody Institute. She attended the Juilliard School and Yale University, where she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in 2017. Her conducting career was launched in 1989, when she was the first woman to be awarded Tanglewood’s Koussevitzky Conducting Prize and began studying with her closest mentor, Leonard Bernstein.


Dr. Sally A. Nuamah

Professor | School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University

Sally A. Nuamah completed her Ph.D. in political science at Northwestern University in June 2016. She has held fellowships and faculty positions at the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Princeton University, and Duke University. Currently, Dr. Nuamah is a professor (tenure track) at the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Her first book, How Girls Achieve, was released by Harvard University Press in April 2019. Her work has received several academic and public awards. Most recently, Dr. Nuamah was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 under 30 in Education” and awarded the prestigious Andrew Carnegie Fellowship, a.k.a. “the Brainy Award.”

In addition to her work in academia, Dr. Nuamah is the founder of an award-winning organization, the TWII Foundation, which provides scholarships for girls in Ghana to be the first in their families to go to and through college. Her documentary film based on this work, “Herstory,” is currently distributed by Discovery Channel and has been recognized by the White House Council on Women and Girls.


Dr. Stephanie Akoumany

Founder and CEO | Bloom

Dr. Stephanie Akoumany is the founder and CEO of Bloom, a company that curates leadership (personal development), wellness (social emotional learning, fitness, healthy eating), and community building (Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion) programs for individuals, families, schools, nonprofits, and businesses.

She has 7+ years of experience helping over 300+ students, 100 educators, and 75 parents gain life, leadership, mindfulness, wellness, diversity, equity, inclusion, and conflict resolution skills in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

Dr. Akoumany earned her Ph.D. in American Studies at University of Maryland College Park in May 2018 and is a proud Baltimore City Public Schools, B.E.S.T., and Bryn Mawr School alumna.

You can find her May 2019 article about the 2019 Bloom Wellness Summit and how schools can make girls’ and their teachers’ wellness a priority on Johns Hopkins Center for Adolescent Health’s Blog.