Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s 2022-23 Season to Welcome Seven Conducting Debuts in Second Year of International Music Director Search
Season to Celebrate 40th Anniversary of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 150th Birthday of Rachmaninoff, and GospelFest 2023 Led by Assistant Conductor Jonathan Rush
BALTIMORE (March 1, 2022) – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s (BSO) 2022-23 season features signature festivals, historical celebrations, major choral works, and bold new music as it enters the second year of its Music Director search.
A celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Jack Everly’s extraordinary tenure as Principal Pops Conductor opens the season with the first full Gala experience in four years on September 17. The performance honors the rich history of jazz in Baltimore, with a special guest artist to be announced in June.
In April 2023, Assistant Conductor Jonathan Rush leads GospelFest 2023, designed with gospel-lovers and newcomers to the genre in mind. The festival takes listeners on a journey, from Celebrating the History of Gospel with Richard Smallwood to a world premiere of a new gospel work for orchestra by Adolphus Hailstork and culminating in a night with the regional powerhouse gospel choirs of Morgan State and Howard Universities.
The BSO honors the 150th birthday of the Russian composer Rachmaninoff through three concerts, ancillary programs, and a partnership with the Cathedral Choral Society. On the subscription series, the BSO performs Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony, Symphonic Dances, and Third Piano Concerto with Olga Kern – a direct descendant of the composer. In March, the BSO joins the Cathedral Choral Society at the Washington National Cathedral in a performance of The Bells.
Highlighting choral works, Artistic Advisor James Conlon leads Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3, “Kaddish” and Verdi’s Requiem. The BSO partners with the University of Maryland Concert Choir and the Maryland State Boychoir in Bernstein’s choral symphony, with text written by Holocaust survivor Samuel Pisar reflecting his personal experience and narrated by legacy family.
In a celebration of bold new music, the BSO presents a co-commission by American composer Jessie Montgomery as part of New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices, a program focused on fostering racial and gender equity in classical music. Two additional BSO co-commissions include the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s Tipping Point and Joel Thompson’s To Awaken the Sleeper, inspired by the words and sentiments of American author James Baldwin. BSO Artistic Partner Wordsmith also brings new narration to Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale with the unique perspective of a Black soldier during the Vietnam War.
“This exciting season calls upon the full expressive powers of music,” said Senior VP and Chief Operating Officer Tonya McBride Robles. “Our search for the BSO’s next Music Director drives the programs in our classical season: each program is designed as a showcase to display the brilliance of the orchestra, the music, and the artists in programs that will awaken all our senses through fantastical journeys in nature while nurturing a greater awareness of the world around us.”
The second season of the BSO’s Music Director search, the 2022-23 season features performances under the baton of seven conductors making their BSO debuts, with encore visits from Rune Bergmann, Robert Trevino, Jonathon Heyward, Kevin John Edusei, Peter Oundjian, Kwamé Ryan, Matthias Pintscher, and Christian Reif. The BSO Sessions docuseries provides exclusive backstage access to the Music Director search candidates in its third season on BSOmusic.org/OffStage. Through interviews and performances, patrons also have the opportunity to learn more about the conductor’s innovative ideas, unique personalities, and interpretative approaches on and off the podium.
Coming this summer, the BSO kicks off the Music for Maryland Tour, during which the BSO will perform in every Maryland jurisdiction over the next three years. Year one of the tour will take the BSO to Carroll (Carroll Community College Amphitheater), Calvert (PNC Waterside Pavilion at the Calvert Marine Museum), Kent (Wilmer Park), Howard (Merriweather Post Pavilion), Prince George’s (National Harbor) counties and more, running July 3 through August 14. The BSO also looks forward to sharing music this summer in Baltimore and Montgomery counties with performances at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, The Music Center at Strathmore, and Oregon Ridge Park.
Additional Season Highlights:
7 conductors make their BSO debut as potential candidates in the Music Director search: Lorenzo Viotti, Eva Ollikainen, Thomas Søndergård, Finnegan Downie Dear, Anna Rakitina, Oskana Lyniv, and Fabien Gabel.
The Orchestra performs 4 BSO commissions and 3 world premieres including a new gospel work for orchestra by Adolphus Hailstork, a new narration to Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale from the perspective of a Black soldier during the Vietnam War by BSO Artistic Partner Wordsmith, and a new piece by Huang Ruo. Conducted by Music Director Laureate Marin Alsop, Ruo’s piece sparks a greater awareness and appreciation of nature, a theme explored all season long. In a season with 14 works by BIPOC composers, the BSO co-commission To Awaken the Sleeper by Joel Thompson is inspired by the words of James Baldwin. Artistic Advisor James Conlon conducts the BSO premiere in a program including soul-stirring works by Hailstork, Singleton, and Shostakovich, with each composer commenting on the society around them. Peter Oundjian conducts the BSO premiere of Jessie Montgomery’s Snapshots as part of New Music USA’s Amplifying Voices.
24 guest artists make their BSO debuts, including opera star Angel Blue in selections of Fire Shut Up in My Bones; double bassist Xavier Foley; cellist Pablo Ferrández; and pianists Michelle Cann, Tom Borrow, and Khatia Buniatishvili.
A star-studded Pops series celebrates the tenure of Jack Everly in his final season as Principal Pops Conductor, featuring a selection of Everly’s specialties: Broadway, ballet, and The Beatles. Enrico Lopez-Yañez also conducts a night of Latin Fire, an energetic celebration of Latin American orchestral favorites, and trumpeter Byron Stripling returns for a program inspired by Harlem’s famed musical hot spots.
Many beloved artists return to the BSO for the 2022-23 season, including pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason and violinists Joshua Bell and Augustin Hadelich.
The Movies with Orchestra series is crowned by a celebration of The Godfather’s 50th anniversary, rounded out by Get Out, Black Panther, and Home Alone.
Steve Hackman returns for BSO Fusion, introducing new audiences to new genres with fusions of Tchaikovsky X Drake, Beethoven X Coldplay, and the music of Queen and Gershwin in Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue.
Leslie Odom, Jr. returns for the Holidays, as well as the BSO’s tradition of Holiday Spectacular with Assistant Conductor Jonathan Rush and A Cirque Holiday Soiree with Troupe Vertigo.
The Family series is led by Assistant Conductor Jonathan Rush, who conducts a Halloween Spooktacular, A Spirit for the Holidays, Calypso Fusion, and Beethoven Lives Upstairs.
Subscriptions for the 2022-23 season for the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and the BSO at Strathmore are on sale beginning March 1 through BSO Patron Support, 410.783.8000, 877.BSO.1444, or BSOmusic.org/Subscribe. Single tickets for the general public will go on sale in August 2022. For press comps, additional artist bios, or media materials, please contact the Communications Department at tkopasek@BSOmusic.org.
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (Meyerhoff)
1212 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
The Music Center at Strathmore (Strathmore)
5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD, 20852
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. 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 recently, 2020 marked the beginning of a new era of artistry, innovation, stability, and digital accessibility, including the launch of the virtual platform BSO OffStage and a groundbreaking docu-concert series BSO Sessions. More information about the BSO can be found at BSOmusic.org.
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