This letter was read to Marin and the audience by composer Christopher Rouse on Opening Night, August 5, 2016:
I am very pleased to be able to add my tribute to the many others that Marin is receiving tonight in recognition of her 25 years of brilliant service as the Music Director of the Cabrillo Festival, and I am sorry that I am unable to do so in person.
Beginning when we were both students in New York, I came to know Marin as a fine professional violinist. Since then, I have watched with great admiration as she has built a pioneering career as a conductor, challenging stereotypes and overcoming prejudices with her tremendous musical passion and meticulous preparation. As music director of five orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra, and a regular guest conductor of major orchestras throughout the world, her performances and recordings of a wide variety of repertoire have made her a true international star. In reaching this lofty position, she not only cracked but obliterated a myriad of glass ceilings, walls and every other kind of barrier, and, in the process, opened up previously undreamed-of opportunities for female conductors.
Marin has also made tremendous contributions to audience development with her innovative programs for both young people and adults. She has developed Cabrillo’s Conductors/Composers Workshop, which provides a unique opportunity for the two to work together and understand each other’s roles in the making of a symphonic performance.
While all of these things are incredibly impressive and valuable, I would like to particularly salute Marin for her unsurpassed commitment to contemporary music and its composers. Nowhere has this been more evident than at the Cabrillo Festival. The list of composers whose new or recent works have been performed in Marin’s tenure includes some of the most prestigious names in contemporary music. But, as important as it is to present the latest music of established masters, a performance of the work of a young composer by the wonderful Cabrillo orchestra under Marin’s expert direction is especially valuable. Such a performance gives an emerging composer an all-too-rare opportunity to have an orchestral work performed at a very high level. But, perhaps more importantly, it can also serve as a much-needed validation of the composer’s efforts, and as a powerful incentive to keep working at the staggeringly difficult art of coaxing music out of her mind and soul and onto a page so that other artists can project it into the hearts of an audience.
For Marin’s singular devotion to the music of living composers, and the standard of musical excellence and complete integrity that she applies to everything she does, it is my great privilege to join all of you tonight in thanking Marin for an amazing 25 years of artistic leadership of the Cabrillo Festival. Congratulations, Maestra!
Secretary, The Aaron Copland Fund for Music and The Amphion Foundation