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Artsmash

Artsmash Critic Tim Smith covers classical music, theater and visual arts in Baltimore and beyond
Baltimore Symphony gives festive centennial concert with accent on youth

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra threw a 100th birthday party for itself Thursday night. About 2,100 folks turned out to help celebrate and, from the sound of things, had a good time doing so.

Meyerhoff Symphony Hall was specially decked out for the occasion, starting with a new outdoor lighting system that made the edifice stand out nicely against the cold winter sky.

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Catching up with violinist Joshua Bell, the BSO's centennial guest artist

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is, quite rightly, the primary star of Thursday's centennial concert at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall — 100 years to the day since the ensemble debuted. But a little extra star power doesn't hurt.

Joining music director Marin Alsop and the BSO will be one of the most gifted and popular violinists on the scene, Joshua Bell.

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Peabody Chamber Opera ready to ride 'Ghost Train' at B&O Railroad Museum

Now arriving at the B&O Railroad Museum: "Ghost Train," an opera about a mysterious, dangerous vision that rides the rails.

British-born American composer Paul Crabtree intended this work to be performed in or around abandoned railway buildings. Peabody Chamber Opera settled on a more practical, but still atmospheric, venue.

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BSO welcomes back Andre Watts, Mario Venzago

It was old friends week at the BSO. Pianist Andre Watts and conductor Mario Venzago, who have enjoyed long and productive associations with this orchestra, returned for another round of spirited music-making.

The program traced a line in the development of Austro-German repertoire, from Gluck to Mozart to Schumann.

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On its 100th birthday, a look back at the birth of the BSO

It all started with a sort of "Kumbaya" moment.

A municipal band founded by the city of Baltimore in 1914 played outdoor concerts in the summer months at the base of the Washington Monument in Mount Vernon. In June 1915, Frederick Huber, manager of the summer school program at Peabody, approached Mayor James Preston with an idea to make those concerts even more enjoyable.

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BSO at 100: Looking ahead to the next century

The 1941 edition of Kenneth S. Clark's "Baltimore: Cradle of Municipal Music" quotes from an editorial "in one of the local dailies" during the early 1930s: "It does not require a musician to proclaim how much the city would have missed in good music since 1916 had there been no Baltimore Symphony Orchestra."

That sentiment rings just as loud and true as the BSO marks its centenary this week.

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