Press Release – Marin Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale Set to Step Down in 2023 After 22 Years of Service

Marin Symphony Music Director Alasdair Neale Set to Step Down in 2023 After 22 Years of Service

September 15, 2021 – San Rafael, CA –​ Alasdair Neale, Music Director of the Marin Symphony since 2001, has announced that after two more concert seasons, he will end his tenure with the Symphony upon the conclusion of the 2022-2023 season.  Neale, who also serves as the Music Director of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, will step back from that role at the conclusion of the 2023-2024 season.  He plans to continue in his role as Music Director of the Sun Valley Music Festival, where he has served since 1995.


After leaving Europe 40 years ago to emigrate to the United States, Neale plans to return there for the next chapter in his life and, along with his husband, will relocate to Paris to be closer to the UK side of his family and to experience new adventures in the City of Lights.


Mr. Neale expressed these thoughts: “The last two decades leading the Marin Symphony have been filled with joyous musical experiences, wonderful friendships and treasured memories on and off the podium.  I’m so grateful for the enduring passion and commitment of the orchestra, the warmth of our audiences, and the generous support of our patrons.  While I’m sad to say goodbye I’m also excited—not only for the new possibilities ahead of me in Paris but also for the music that awaits us all over these next two seasons in Marin, and above all for the chance to be on stage again for our upcoming concerts in November after such a long absence.”


Mr. Neale has been hailed for invigorating the orchestra and establishing it as one of the finest in the Bay Area. Under Mr. Neale’s direction, the Marin Symphony was chosen as one of several distinguished orchestras to participate in Magnum Opus, a groundbreaking, decade-long commissioning project bringing new music to the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Osvaldo Golijov, Kevin Puts, Kenji Bunch, David Carlson, and Avner Dorman were among the composers represented in the project.


Mr. Neale’s appointment with the Marin Symphony followed 12 years as Associate Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony and Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. During that time, he conducted both orchestras in hundreds of critically acclaimed concerts both here and abroad. Under Mr. Neale’s direction, the Youth Orchestra became one of the finest young ensembles in the world, receiving consistent rave reviews for performances in San Francisco, as well as on tour in Amsterdam, Leipzig, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Madrid, Paris, Prague, Dublin, Copenhagen, and Vienna.


Tod Brody, Executive Director of the Marin Symphony shared this about his esteemed colleague: “Twenty years into what has been a brilliantly successful tenure with the Marin Symphony, Maestro Alasdair Neale is still held in the very highest regard by his musicians, the Symphony’s audience and patrons, and, well, everyone. That’s beyond rare, it’s unique. Alasdair has the blessing of all of us as he moves his life forward, to Paris and beyond, but before that, we are looking forward, even more than before, to two more glorious seasons with him.”


The Marin Symphony Board of Directors will be assembling a new music director search committee and will be sharing their plans in the coming months.


Neale was born in England and grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland. He studied at the University of Cambridge and at Yale University under the renowned teacher Otto Werner-Muller. He has lived in the United States since 1983.

About the Marin Symphony 


The acclaimed Marin Symphony Orchestra, established in 1951, presents classical Masterworks and Pops concerts in the Marin Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium and other venues in Marin. Under the music direction of Alasdair Neale, more than 80 professional symphony musicians, 110 chorus members and world-class guest artists come together to bring live classical music performances to the community. Over 3,000 students are touched by our youth programs, including our three-tiered Youth Orchestra program, Symphony Day (in which all 4th-graders in the county are invited, free of charge, to a special full orchestra performance), and in-school programs.


The Symphony’s 70th season kicks off on November 6 and 7, 2021 with the season’s first Masterworks program, Schumann & Brahms. The stellar pianist Orli Shaham is featured in Schumann’s glorious concerto.  Rising star Jessie Montgomery’s illuminating take on the American national anthem opens the concert, and the performance concludes with Brahms’s masterful First Symphony.


Discover more at or call 415.479.8100.



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