Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Opens 2010-2011 Season, Sept. 24-25
Music Director Marin Alsop leads BSO in Mahler’s Seventh Symphony
Baltimore, Md. (August 17, 2010)—Music Director Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra kick off the 2010-2011 season with a performance of Mahler’s Seventh Symphony at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on September 24, 2010 at 8 p.m. and at the Music Center at Strathmore on September 25, 2010 at 8 p.m. Throughout the 2010-2011 season, the BSO explores the genius of Mahler through his compositions and arrangements of works by other legendary composers. The program begins with the BSO premiere of Mahler’s arrangement of J.S. Bach’s Suite, which includes the well-known “Air on a G-String.” The program concludes with Mahler’s Seventh Symphony, which was selected by the BSO musicians as a “Musicians’ Pick.” Please see below for complete concert details.
This season’s repertoire contains works chosen by BSO musicians, titled “Musicians’ Picks.” Ranging from famous works to those more obscure to rarely performed masterpieces to personal favorites, the BSO musicians hope these selections entertain their listeners while rekindling their own passion for performing.
British musicologist Deryck Cooke hailed Mahler’s Seventh Symphony as “the most wildly fantastic [scoring] ever conceived by this most wildly fantastic of orchestrators—a continual feast for the ear.” The work’s middle movements explore different aspects of the night, including a portrait (perhaps inspired by Rembrandt) of night watchmen pacing their rounds, a spooky scherzo and a delicate nocturnal serenade featuring mandolin and guitar. The work’s celebratory finale provides a dazzling fanfare intended to represent “day” to the previous movements’ “night.”
When arranging Bach’s Suite, Mahler compiled the “greatest hits” from both Bach’s Orchestra Suite Nos. 2 and 3. He also expanded the number of musicians to create a sound richer than the original score. The Second Suite is the most intimate of the four, and the only one written in a minor key (B minor), a key Bach particularly favored for flute music. In the Third Suite, he made no musical changes, but filled his arrangement with the explicit dynamic and expressive marks he used in his own works.
Marin Alsop, conductor
Hailed as one of the world’s leading conductors for her artistic vision and commitment to accessibility in classical music, Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008, and is music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.
In 2005, Ms. Alsop was named a MacArthur Fellow, the first conductor ever to receive this prestigious award. In 2007, she was honored with a European Women of Achievement Award; in 2008; she was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and in 2009, Musical America named her “Conductor of the Year.”
A regular guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ms. Alsop appears frequently as a guest conductor with the most distinguished orchestras around the world. In addition to her performance activities, she is also an active recording artist with award-winning cycles of Brahms and Barber orchestral works.
Marin Alsop attended Yale University and received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School. In 1989, her conducting career was launched when she won the Koussevitzky Conducting Prize at Tanglewood where she studied with Leonard Bernstein.
COMPLETE CONCERT DETAILS
Mahler’s Seventh Symphony
Friday, September 24, 2010 at 8 p.m.—Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 8 p.m.—The Music Center at Strathmore
Marin Alsop, conductor
J.S. Bach (Arr. Mahler): Suite
Mahler: Symphony No. 7
Tickets range from $28 to $61 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444, 410.783.8000 or BSOmusic.org.