Ahead of our concerts with her on 5 December, we, together with Southbank Centre, asked Marin a few questions:Marin Alsop

What do you fear the most?
Losing my independence as I get older

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My family

What – or where – is perfection?
On the podium when everyone is completely “in the zone” and creating great, inspired music together

Who is your favourite hero from fiction (book/comic/film/opera) – and why?
Horatio Alger – I still believe in the American dream

What’s your favourite ritual?
I love Sunday mornings with pancakes, the paper and, most importantly, my son and partner.  We usually go for a hike in the Colorado mountains afterwards.

Which living person do you most admire (and why)?
Barack Obama – he’s all about what CAN be.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
I’d love to be a gymnast, back flips and the works!

Tell us about a special memory you have of Southbank Centre (Royal Festival Hall/Queen Elizabeth Hall/Purcell Room/Hayward Gallery)?
Conducting Bolero at the Festival Hall reopening was very exciting; it felt like being part of history.

What’s your favourite website?
The one I visit most often, to check on my calendar is www.marinalsop.com otherwise there are many others I use all the time especially Wikipedia.

If you could programme your ideal Southbank Centre show, which artists (living or dead) would you bring together?
Leonard Bernstein, and the Beatles.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Perseverance is the key to success. Work hard and maximize every opportunity!

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
Mahler Symphony 9

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2010?
Always try to get healthier!

Marin conducts us on 5 December at 7pm at Southbank’s Centre’s Queen Elizabeth hall, and again at 10pm in The Night Shift. Tickets