Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Performs Brahms v. Radiohead



Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Performs Brahms v. Radiohead

March 10, 2020 (Baltimore, MD)
– The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra presents Brahms v. Radiohead on May 15 at 8 pm at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.

Considered one of the greatest albums of all time, Radiohead’s OK Computer is interwoven with Brahms’ First Symphony in arranger and conductor Steve Hackman’s Brahms v. Radiohead. Performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and three pop vocalists, the melodies of Brahms are seamlessly intertwined with songs such as “Paranoid Android,” “Karma Police,” “No Surprises” and “Let Down.”

According to Maestro Hackman, “These two works share striking and defining characteristics: the most significant is their mood of anxiety and brooding pathos. Brahms, unendingly plagued by the shadow of the great Beethoven, took more than a decade to write this symphony, for fear of not living up to his predecessor, and that pressure is felt in each tightly-wound measure. For Radiohead, the themes of social alienation, consumerism, emotional isolation and political turmoil are channeled electrically through every anxious note and lyric of OK Computer.”

Please note that Radiohead and Brahms do not appear on this performance.


Special Event:
Brahms v. Radiohead
May 15, 8 pm – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Steve Hackman, conductor


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


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A musical visionary of incomparable gifts, Steve Hackman is a daring voice leading the charge among a new generation of classical musicians’ intent on redefining the genre. Equally adept in classical and popular forms, his breadth of musical fluency and technique is uncanny- he is at once a composer, conductor, producer, DJ, arranger, songwriter, singer, pianist and rapper. He uses those wide-ranging abilities to create ingenious hybrid compositions that blur the lines between high and pop art and challenge our very definitions thereof.

Hackman’s unique style of musical metamorphosis sees modern musical techniques applied to the classical repertoire and vice versa. The result is evocative hybrid works that are both derivative yet wholly original. He synthesizes Brahms and Radiohead, Bartók and Björk and Tchaikovsky and Drake into epic orchestral tone-poems; re-imagines Stravinsky and Shostakovich into original orchestral-electronic concept albums; samples Verdi and Debussy and interpolates them into hip-hop tracks; writes songs with hidden melodies of Beethoven embedded.

His performances of these pieces have surprised and thrilled diverse sellout audiences across the country, including with the orchestras of Seattle, Pittsburgh, the Boston Pops, Nashville, Oregon, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Columbus, Charlotte, Florida, Alabama and the Colorado Music Festival.


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 275,000 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