Marin Alsop, the first-ever artistic curator at the Ravinia Festival, believes that Leonard Bernstein, her mentor, granted her the ultimate gift: “He gave me the greatest gift a teacher can give a student, which is the belief in myself. A sense that I could really follow my instincts.”

At Ravinia, Alsop is leading a multi-year centennial celebration of the legendary American composer and composer, including a new production of Bernstein’s 1971 music theater work “Mass” on July 28. Directed by Kevin Newbury and conducted by Alsop, “Mass will feature the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, along with baritone Paulo Szot, the Chicago Children’s Choir, Vocality and the Highland Park High School Marching Band.

Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, recently sat down with New City critic Dennis Polkow for a wide-ranging interview originally broadcast July 22 on WDCB-FM (90.9/90.7). To hear the interview, click here.