In 1984, Marin Alsop decided to take her professional development into her own hands. Already a successful violinist, she wanted to form her own ensemble in order to learn the musical and administrative skills necessary to lead a professional orchestra. After being paid generously by a client for whose wedding she had performed, Marin gathered the courage to tell the client about her conducting aspirations and ask for his help. To her surprise, the client, Mr. Tomio Taki, agreed to help the young conductor: and the Concordia Orchestra was born.
Marin explains why she wanted to establish the Fellowship:
“It is a privilege to be in a position to impact the lives of aspiring women conductors. I can clearly see what is needed to assist emerging conductors in the pursuit of their dreams and want to make the road easier and more rewarding for them. I have never ascribed to the philosophy that, ‘It was tough for me so it will be tough for you.’ My philosophy is: ‘It was tough for me so that I could make it easier for you.’ This is the philosophy of my non-musician mentor, Tomio Taki, who was compassionate and unwavering in his belief and support of my goals to become a conductor. Without Tomio, my path would have been far more difficult. That is why it is only appropriate to name this the Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, to honor Mr. Taki and to keep the name of our wonderful orchestra of eighteen years – Concordia, alive.”
Although the Concordia Orchestra has disbanded, the (TCCF) Fellowship continues to exemplify Maestra Alsop’s entrepreneurial spirit and Mr. Taki’s commitment to fostering talented women through active mentorship.