Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces 2020-21 Season



Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces 2020-21 Season

New season celebrates Marin Alsop’s extraordinary tenure in her final season as Music Director

March 4, 2020 (Baltimore, MD)
– The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) today announced the details of its upcoming 2020-21 season, which celebrates Marin Alsop in her final season as Music Director.

Recognized for her artistry in conducting the great masterworks of the symphonic repertoire and praised for her commitment to innovative programming, community collaborations and social justice, Maestra Alsop has planned a season that highlights some of her greatest musical passions.

Renowned violinist Hilary Hahn joins Marin Alsop and the Orchestra in Brahms’ Violin Concerto for the Season Opening Gala concert in September. Alsop and the BSO continue their celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday as she leads the Orchestra, chorus and soloists in Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio. In a production re-imagined for today’s society by Heartbeat Opera, the opera’s Prisoner’s Chorus will be sung on video by current prison inmates in an adaptation that has been called “imaginative, vital and heartbreaking,” by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross. A Beethoven Birthday Bash concludes the celebration as conductor Anna Rakitina leads Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, as well as Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto with pianist Jeremy Denk.

Other highlights of the BSO’s 2020-21 classical season include orchestral works that are particularly meaningful to Maestra Alsop, including Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, Mozart’s Requiem, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé. Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Bells,” is presented in partnership with Baltimore’s Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum as part of the International Poe Festival. The Rite of Spring, famous for riots after its premiere in Paris, is paired with Kurt Weill’s The Seven Deadly Sins, which includes seven scenes.

The BSO also continues its commitment to the performance of new music. Christopher Theofanidis’ Drum Circles features four percussion soloists of The Percussion Collective, and Jake Heggie’s Moby Dick Suite is drawn from Heggie’s original opera and inspired by Melville’s iconic novel. Other new works include Judit Varga’s JUMP! and Texu Kim’s Spin-Flip. The 2020-21 season closes with a world premiere by Angélica Castelló, co-commissioned by the BSO and the Space Telescope Science Institute.

A number of BSO musicians are featured throughout the 2020-21 season as soloists, including Katherine Needleman, Harrison Miller, Audrey Wright and Lachezar Kostov in Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat Major; YaoGuang Zhai in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto; and Jonathan Carney and Dariusz Skoraczewski in Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello.

The BSO’s SuperPops series, under the direction of Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, brings Tony Award-winning singer and actor André De Shields to the stage, as well as crowd-pleasing programs, from Sondheim to A Night at the Oscars. Grammy Award-winning Aaron Neville is featured in a Thanksgiving weekend performance without orchestra.

Other performances featured during the 2020-21 season include a Family Concert Series, Holiday concerts, Movies with Orchestra and Special Events.

Season Highlights:

Guest Artists: A number of the world’s top soloists join the Orchestra for the 2020-21 season including violinists Hilary Hahn, Ning Feng and Augustin Hadelich; pianists André Watts, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Yefim Bronfman, Lukáš Vondráček and Louis Lortie; and cellists Alban Gerhardt and Pablo Ferrández.

BSO Debuts: Several guest artists make their BSO debut in the 2020-21 season including cellist Pablo Ferrández, violinist Ning Feng, vocalist Yolanda Adams and conductor Eun Sun Kim.

Movies with Orchestra: In 2020-21, the BSO presents three Movies with Orchestra, in which films are projected onto a large HD screen while the Orchestra performs the score live. Special presentations include Toy Story, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™️ – Part 1 in Concert.

HARRY POTTER characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ WBEI. WIZARDING WORLD trademark and logo © & ™ WBEI. Publishing Rights © JKR. (s20)

Off The Cuff: Off The Cuff concerts allow audiences to explore a single piece of music in depth with background and historical information from the conductor or soloist and a post-concert audience Q&A. Off The Cuff performances include Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with Pablo Ferrández; a movement from Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major and Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante in B-flat Major with BSO musicians Katherine Needleman, Harrison Miller, Audrey Wright and Lachezar Kostov; Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Ginastera’s Variaciones concertantes with Cristian Măcelaru; and Paganini’s Violin Concerto with Ning Feng.

SuperPops: Under the leadership of Principal Pops Conductor Jack Everly, the BSO presents SuperPops concerts in the 2020-21 season featuring a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, Tony Award-winning André De Shields, a night of best-loved film music, a celebration of Sondheim and Grammy Award-winning singer Aaron Neville.

Holiday Specials: The 2020-21 holiday season includes Handel’s Messiah, a return of Troupe Vertigo in Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Gospel Christmas with Yolanda Adams and the ever-popular tap-dancing Santas in the Holiday Spectacular performances.

Family Series: For ages four and up, the BSO’s 2020-21 Family series presents Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs with music by pop musician Ben Folds; Classical Kids LIVE’s Beethoven Lives Upstairs; Summon the Heroes, which sheds light on the lives of inspirational leaders such as Baltimore’s own Elijah Cummings; and Let’s Dance!, exploring music from Bruno Mars to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.


Subscriptions for the 2020-21 season for the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the BSO at Strathmore are on sale now through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000, 877.BSO.1444 or Single tickets for the general public will go on sale in August 2020.


Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Meyerhoff)
1212 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

The Music Center at Strathmore (Strathmore)
5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20892

About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

For over a century, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has been recognized as one of America’s leading orchestras and one of Maryland’s most significant cultural institutions. Under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, the orchestra is internationally renowned and locally admired for its innovation, performances, recordings and educational outreach initiatives including OrchKids.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs annually for more than 350,000 people throughout the State of Maryland. Since 1982, the BSO has performed at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, and since 2005, with the opening of The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD, the BSO became the nation’s first orchestra performing its full season of classical and pops concerts in two metropolitan areas. More information about the BSO can be found at