Wye Oak
Wye Oak (Merge Records)

When the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced its 2015-2016 season back in March, details about a new concert series called Pulse, in partnership with WTMD-FM 89.7 and involving indie rock bands, were not yet finalized. Those details, announced Tuesday, make this series at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall sound all the more intriguing.

The four bands lined up: Dawes on Sept. 24; Baltimore's own Wye Oak on Nov. 12; Dr. Dog on March 24; The Lone Bellow on April 28.


Each Thursday-night Pulse program will include a substantial work of contemporary music performed by the BSO, a set performed by the guest band, then a set that merges the band and BSO members.

The BSO's portion of the evening, conducted by BSO assistant conductor Nicholas Hersh, will include two works by living composers: Symphony No. 3 by Baltimore-born Philip Glass at the top of concert with Dawes and "Become River" by John Luther Adams (a tributary, if you will, of his Pulitzer Prize-winning "Become Ocean") for the Wye Oak night.

A couple of standard 20th-century works will round out the series: Copland's "Appalachian Spring" for The Lone Bellow program and Stravinsky's "L'histoire du soldat" ("The Soldier's Tale") for the Dr. Dog concert.

Pulse, supported by a grant from the Wallace Foundation, is aimed at reaching "the next generation," BSO president and CEO Paul Meecham said in a statement. "Today's audiences consume culture and experience music in a different way than their parents, so the BSO knew it was important to create a concert experience to meet their expectations."

WTMD executive director Stephen Yasko described this "creative mashup up of indie rock and classical music" as "revolutionary." WTMD will broadcast the concerts live and air them subsequently as well.

Plans call for a busy lobby scene at the concert hall prior to the onstage performances, with food and beverage stations from local restaurants and breweries starting at 5 p.m., then music by local bands and classical groups starting at 7 p.m., with the main concert "to follow." (All of this seems a little early in the evening for a "next generation" crowd, even for a Thursday night.)

A single, no-service-fee, general admission ticket price has been set for each Pulse event: $35. Tickets go on sale Friday. Call 410-783-8000, or visit bsopulse.org.