Over 40 years ago, my grandfather, Joseph Meyerhoff, imagined a new concert hall to be designed and built as a permanent home for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Though my grandfather passed away just a few years after the 1982 opening of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, he would have been proud to witness the BSO’s growth since then, and especially the pride that Marin Alsop and the orchestra brought to Baltimore on their recent concert tour to the United Kingdom and Ireland (“Nine days in Europe with the BSO,” Sept. 14).
My grandfather was also a successful businessman and thoughtfully invested in and supported many organizations in Baltimore’s cultural community. As a member of the Meyerhoff family, I have served on the Board of Trustees, the Endowment Board, and am currently on the Executive Committee of the Board of the BSO. I strongly support the current BSO management’s proposal to act in a fiscally responsible manner. I have participated in numerous efforts to raise funds to support the BSO’s operations and grow its endowment. Unfortunately, we have been unable to raise the money to cover the expenses of the orchestra, or raise enough funds to increase the endowment sufficiently to maintain the current structure.
As we look around the country, other orchestras of great prestige have maintained their artistic standards and acclaimed performances while, out of necessity, cutting back on the number of weeks that they perform. I am very supportive of the musicians of our great orchestra, but it is time for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to scale back its operations to meet market demands and funding opportunities so that we can all enjoy performances of this great orchestra on into the future.