Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Appoints Jeff Counts as Vice President of Artistic Planning
Baltimore, Md. (June 1, 2009) – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) today announced the appointment of Jeff Counts as Vice President of Artistic Planning. In this capacity, Mr. Counts will provide strategic creative leadership to all aspects of artistic and classical music programming for the BSO, in close collaboration with Music Director Marin Alsop, President & CEO Paul Meecham and with the BSO musicians’ Artistic Advisory Committee. Mr. Counts will also serve as a key creative partner in the ongoing development of the BSO’s artistic profile, developing and maintaining relationships with conductors, composers and guest artists. Specific responsibilities include programming the classical subscription seasons in Baltimore and Strathmore (the Orchestra’s second year-round home in North Bethesda), the summer season, run-out concerts, tours and special events including the Opening Night Gala, Donor Appreciation concerts and the annual Martin Luther King Day celebration.
Prior to joining the BSO staff, Mr. Counts held senior level management positions with Florida Orchestra and, most recently, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. For the latter, he served as Vice President of Artistic Operations, managing the symphony’s artistic programming. Mr. Counts holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of South Florida and began his career as a public school music teacher. He also has maintained an active schedule as a freelance horn player, performing often with the orchestras throughout the state of Florida. Until recently, Jeff Counts was known as Jeff Bram. To honor the man who raised them, Mr. Counts and his brother, Chris, recently decided to assume the last name of their stepfather.
“I am thrilled that Jeff has accepted this position,” commented BSO President & CEO Paul Meecham. “He possesses the commitment to artistic integrity, breadth of knowledge of the classical repertoire and keen management skills necessary to continue the Baltimore Symphony’s legacy of artistic excellence and bold programming. His expertise makes him an ideal partner for Marin Alsop.”
Commenting on what led him to the BSO, Jeff Counts explains, “For me, it had a lot to do with Marin Alsop’s desire to position the Baltimore Symphony as an artistic beacon during these difficult times. Her plan for the BSO inspires me greatly and I can’t wait to begin my work supporting her vision.”
About the BSO
The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world’s most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its uncompromising pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout the Maryland community through innovative education and community outreach initiatives. With the opening of the Music Center at Strathmore in February 2005, the BSO became the nation’s first orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas.
The BSO made musical history in July 2005 when it announced the appointment of Marin Alsop as its next music director, making her the first woman to lead a major American orchestra. Maestra Alsop’s inaugural concerts in September 2007 marked the dawn of a new era for the BSO, as she brings her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music. With an operating budget of $28.3 million, the BSO performs more than 150 concerts at the Meyerhoff and The Music Center at Strathmore each year.
The Baltimore Symphony has achieved critical success for its prolific discography. The BSO, under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop recorded Dvorák's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World" and Symphonic Variations on the Naxos label in February 2008, nominated as the best new classical CD of the year by BBC Magazine. In June 2006, the BSO collaborated with then-Music Director Designate Marin Alsop and violinist Joshua Bell to record John Corigliano's Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, "The Red Violin." The BSO made its foray into online distribution in April 2007 with the release of a live-concert recording of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring on iTunes, which quickly became the #1 classical music download on iTunes.