Marin Alsop takes her baton to Brazil!

The Brazilian city of São Paulo has been celebrating the arrival of Marin Alsop as Chief Conductor of its Symphony Orchestra.

The American born musician and conductor kicked off her five year tenure with a series of concerts in the newly refurbished Sala São Paulo concert hall, which featured a spectacular programme of works by Mozart and Shostakovich alongside a new piece - a fantasia on the Brazilian national anthem - by Clarice Assad. 

Marin Alsop is best known as the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and in the UK for conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. She succeeds Yan Pascal Tortelier as principal conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra.

Founded in 1954, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra is the largest orchestra in South America and regarded as a flagship institution of Brazil's largest city with a population of almost 20 million people. The orchestra has just announced a major new recording deal which will see Alsop conduct a complete cycle of Prokofiev Symphonies on the Naxos label.  The first is due to hit the shops in the UK later in the year to coincide with the orchestra's mini European tour.

Classic FM's Bob Jones caught up with Marin Alsop to talk all about her time in Brazil so far, and the challenges ahead.

Listen to our interview with Marin Alsop here.