January 19, 2021
It is with a spirit of gratitude that the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra begins the new year with extraordinarily positive momentum and strong resolve.
Leaders who have been involved with the BSO for decades have observed that this past year has been among the most significant in our history. This has been a very hard time for many, and we must and will continue to nurture and uplift hearts, minds, and spirits through great music at this critical moment.
Highlights of our shared progress throughout 2020 include:
- Movement forward together - Management, musicians, and board leadership reached a historic five-year agreement that helps assure the BSO’s long-term strength and positive direction while providing new opportunities for artistic growth, innovation, and growing our family of audience members and donors.
- Expansion of our artistic leadership team - The appointments of Assistant Conductor Jonathan Rush and Artistic Partner Wordsmith, as well as extending the tenure of Associate Conductor Nicholas Hersh, have been essential to the launch of BSO Sessions, which brings powerful music and real stories from the concert hall to all of us at home.
- Recommitment to the work of diversity, equity, and inclusion - From investments that build the capacity of BSO stakeholders, to the intentional elevation of underrepresented voices, including composers and artists of color, in our programs, we recognize the important steps taken but know that these are not nearly enough. We are committed to continuing the journey, measuring progress, and holding ourselves accountable.
- Continued efforts in the face of the pandemic - From the initial launch of BSO Offstage in March to more recent expansions such as the Midweek Concert Series: BGE Broadcasts, we have continued to enrich lives – including those of children, our senior listeners, families, educators, and all who may be isolated by the pandemic – making the power of music more important than ever.
Collectively, and coupled with the strongest financial results in a decade, supported by shared sacrifice across the organization, our BSO family has demonstrated incredible resilience. In addition, we continue to develop our talented staff and further strengthen our Board of Directors and Endowment Trustees as we foster the exceptional artistic excellence of our musicians. We are encouraged, but we also know that our ongoing efforts and continued momentum are vital as we implement our strategic plan and enter a new era for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
As we continue to look further ahead, we are also looking at important moments on the immediate horizon. In keeping with public health guidelines, we are finding new ways to honor the remarkable 14-year tenure of Music Director Marin Alsop. Join us on the BSO’s social media pages every Monday as we highlight #MarinMilestones and stay tuned for more information about a multi-week celebration of Marin in June – culminating in a special gala performance featuring Renée Fleming.
We look forward to the moment when our musicians and audience members can be reunited in our concert halls. Work is well underway on an extraordinary 2021-22 season. The season will showcase James Conlon, one of the world’s leading conductors, as he begins his tenure as Artistic Advisor; Marin Alsop in her new role as Music Director Laureate and OrchKids Founder; and top conductors from around the world leading concerts by the BSO as part of a multi-year, international Music Director search. More details will be announced in the spring, and you will not want to miss it.
In closing, on behalf of all at the BSO, thank you. With the inspirational support of our community, we have both the opportunity and the obligation to sustain this positive momentum. We are determined that 2021 will be another year of important accomplishments and service to our diverse community.
I invite you to share your thoughts at President@BSOMusic.org and visit BSOMusic.org/updates to learn more about our shared journey.