Baltimore Sun

Baltimore Symphony to offer 2010-11 season preview at Strathmore

One of the smart ideas to have emerged in orchestral circles in recent years is the season preview concert -- a program designed to provide prospective concert-goers (and subscription-buyers) a taste of what will be in store on the series ahead. The Baltimore Symphony will offer such a program in September, although not in Baltimore.

This preview of the 2010-2011 season will be performed Sept. 10 at Strathmore, conducted by BSO music director Marin Alsop and, making his public debut, the teenage Ilyich Rivas, the BSO-Peabody Bruno Walter Assistant Conductor who is about to start the second year of his fellowship with the orchestra. He makes his subscription-series debut in October. 

BSO fans in Baltimore who already harbor suspicions about the ensemble's home-away-from-home in Montgomery County may take umbrage at the fact that there is no such preview scheduled for Meyerhoff Hall. It's largely a matter of scheduling, I'm told. And it doesn't mean Baltimore is losing out on something permanently.


The BSO's wildly popular Rusty Musicians project was presented at Strathmore first last winter, but will make it to Baltimore in September. "Our aim is to have annual Rusty events and a season preview concert at both venues," says Eileen Andrews Jackson, BSO v.p. for marketing and communications.

Meanwhile, there's no reason why Baltimore-area folks can't check out the Strathmore preview, too -- the price is right ($10 in advance, $15 at the door) and, for those who have yet to compare the aural and ambiance differences between Meyerhoff and Strathmore, this is a great opportunity.


Alsop will conduct the bulk of the program, which includes

movements from symphonies by Schumann, Prokofiev and Shostakovich; an overture by Mozart and an Essay by Barber; and selections from the world of ballet (Prokofiev's "Cinderella") and film (Williams' "Star Wars" main title music).

Mahler, who is a substantial focus of the '10-'11 lineup (the season coincides with the 150th anniversary of his birth and the centennial of his death), will be also represented. Alsop will conduct his arrangement of the famous "Air" from Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 3. Rivas will lead the BSO in the exquisite "Blumine" movement from the original version of Mahler's Symphony No. 1.