Before The Sun criticizes BSO, it ought to consider its own failure to adequately cover the arts
Dec 02, 2019 | 1:04 PM
A recent editorial in The Sun (“BSO and its musicians should listen to new finance guru,” Nov. 26) takes the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra organization and musicians to task for their failure to develop a sound plan to put the BSO on a lasting road to solvency and encourages them to put their trust into a newly appointed “guru," Michael Kaiser. Along the way, it chides the orchestra for not generating “the type of hoopla that fills symphony halls” and enjoins it to “find ways to attract a younger and more diverse following."
I don’t know just what kind of “hoopla” the writers had in mind, but I agree with them that “Baltimore needs a symphony orchestra as part of its cultural landscape." The writers add that “We don’t want to see it disappear." But what has The Baltimore Sun done lately to let Baltimore’s citizens know about their great cultural institutions? Since it lost the ubiquitous Tim Smith, music and theater critic, who at the end even had to cover the restaurant scene, there has been one BSO concert review.
This means that the general public is completely unaware of the orchestra’s wide spread of music appealing to children, families, lovers of pop music, jazz, film and classical music. Many a seat might be filled and new customers attracted if regular reviews kept a focus on the diverse music on offer both in Baltimore and Washington (Strathmore). The BSO is not the only one of our cultural treasures to get cold-shouldered by The Sun since Tim Smith’s departure. Important exhibits at the Baltimore Museum of Art and The Walters Art Museum go unreported as do theater performances and the diverse, high-class — and free — musical offerings at the Peabody Institute, as well as other musical and performance venues in the city.
Instead of filling The Sun’s pages almost exclusively with reports about crime and corruption in our city, thereby cementing its negative image locally and abroad, does The Sun not have a duty to also highlight and honor its amazing cultural life and support it every way possible, rather than just chide institutions for failing?