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BSO gets on the 2010-11 bandwagon

How the media landscape has changed. Two years ago, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced the 2008-09 season with an old-fashioned, on-site press conference at the Meyerhoff, complete with speeches, breakfast, the works. This year, in a very different economic climate, the orchestra's announcement of its 2010-11 season was made electronically, and at the last minute: it went out yesterday with hardly any advance warning at all.

Mahler, not surprisingly, is the centerpiece of the season, since the 2010-11 season will see both the 150th anniversary of his birth and the 100th anniversary of his death. Programs include the composer's 1st, 7th and 10th symphonies, and “Das Lied von der Erde.”

Another focus is new beginnings -- perhaps a symbolic hope for an orchestra which has been dealing valiantly with considerable financial difficulties. This theme is expressed through young soloists (the violinist Augustin Hadelich, the pianist Ingrid Fliter, the conductor Cornelius Meister, and the 17-year-old conductor Ilyich Rivas make their debuts, while Yuja Wang returns with Rachmaninoff’s 2nd piano concerto); pieces written by teenage composers (Shostakovich’s 1st symphony, Rachmaninoff’s 1st piano concerto with Gilmore award-winner Kirill Gerstein, and Schubert’s 5th symphony, all written when the composers were 19); and new work written for children, including a new comission by David Rimelis and a co-commissioned piece, “Icarus at the Edge of Time,” by Philip Glass.
(read more after the jump)

Alsop will also lead Emanuel Ax in a performance of Brahms’s 1st piano concerto, contrast Prokofiev’s 1st and 6th symphonies, and conduct a live performance of the original score of Chaplin’s 1925 film “The Gold Rush.” The orchestra will introduce its new recording of Dvorak’s 7th and 8th symphonies by reprising the 9th, also under Alsop’s leadership.

The orchestra will extend its “Off the Cuff” series, a shorter, more informal concert presentation involving a spoken introduction to a single musical work; the four programs will be offered at Strathmore on Fridays and at the Meyerhoff on Saturdays. It will also return to Carnegie Hall with a program of Barber, Prokofiev (the 3rd piano concerto, with Simon Trpceski), and Beethoven’s “Eroica” symphony in the Gustav Mahler “retouched” version.

The BSO is also developing collaborations with Washington groups. The Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program of the WNO will return for a semi-staged version of “The Magic Flute,” and the Washington Chorus, featured this season in an upcoming Brahms Requiem, comes back next season for the Verdi one.

By Anne Midgette  |  March 24, 2010; 5:31 AM ET
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Baltimorons are pathetic.

They did not support their opera, and are not supporting their orchestra. Roland Park ladies lunch at each others' homes while their men referee lacrosse when they're not acting as trustees for the great wealth that stays out of sight.

Posted by: JohnRDC | March 24, 2010 5:50 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm … no soloists listed for the June 9, 2011 BSO/Washington Chorus
(under Julian Wachner) collaboration in the mighty Verdi Requiem.

Perhaps the BSO was planning on inviting Twyla Robinson, Mihoko Fujimura, Nikolai Schukoff, and Evgeny Nikitin (described by the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts as “great singers”), but who were cruelly whacked as “awful” by Ms. Midgette and the Washington Post less than a fortnight ago.

Or, given the partial youthful focus next season at the BSO, could there be a role here for the members of the WNO Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program or Moscow’s new, ten-member Bolshoi Youth Opera Program? Or for Anne Midgette herself?

Maybe Washington Post music critic Robert Battey would like to conduct or play the timpani?

Posted by: snaketime1 | March 24, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Snaketime, I am puzzled by your unexpected carelessness. Since you are usually so precise and appear to know everything about all things arts related in this area, the West Coast and abroad, I am suprised that you don't know that Mr. Battey is actually a cellist. Or, perhaps your irony is too subtle for me.

Posted by: newcriticalcritic | March 24, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

“Yet the reviewer does not work in a vacuum. What is published will have an effect, and words should be chosen with the utmost care. It's all a question of degree — one can say anything one wants, but the tone should be adapted to suit the circumstances. If the concert has been less than satisfactory, there are ways of getting that across without mockery or condescension, without making a liar of oneself, but without being unnecessarily cruel."

Tim Page OperaNews Online July 2009, vol 74, no. 1

Posted by: snaketime1 | March 24, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Anne wrote, on the Baltimore SO's upcoming season: "Programs include the composer's 1st, 7th and 10th symphonies, and “Das Lied von der Erde.”"

Not so. Baltimore is doing 1, 7, Das Lied, and the Adagio of the 10th, not the entire symphony. HUGE difference. You would expect only the Adagio from Alsop, a Bernstein protege; he never performed the entire symphony either.

Posted by: FurnaceCreek | March 25, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

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