Baltimore Symphony Orchestra


The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is a major American symphony orchestra based in Baltimore, Maryland. History Founded in 1916, the Baltimore Symphony was initially a branch of the municipal government. In 1942 the Orchestra became a private institution. That reorganization was the first of several upgrades in budget and the more intangible concept of status. Joseph Meyerhoff, who became the President of the Board in 1965, inaugurated the most significant of those expansions, taking the organization from being an ill-organized and woefully underfunded part-time group of regional players to a 52-week nationally-ranked ensemble. His partner in that process was Music Director Sergiu Comissiona, who combined noticeably higher standards of music-making from what had gone before with palpable celebrity appeal. The next Music Director, David Zinman, supported by then-Executive Director John Gidwitz, solidified and expanded the gains that the orchestra had made in the prior two decades. This included making several international tours, developing an acclaimed radio broadcast series, and issuing a large number of recordings on major labels, including several recordings of music by contemporary Americans composers on the Argo label. The orchestra did much to put Michael Torke (Color Music) before the public. The Baltimore Symphony became the first American orchestra to tour behind the Iron Curtain since the 1970s (notably bringing audiences to their feet with encores of Twist a...

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