Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to make BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival debuts this summer with Music Director Marin Alsop and soloists Nicola Benedetti and Jean-Yves Thibaudet in first overseas tour in 13 years

Marin Alsop and Baltimore Symphony Orchestra © Margot Shulman. Content by Albion Media

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is to make its debut at both BBC Proms (27 August) and Edinburgh International Festival (24 and 25 August) conducted by their Music Director Marin Alsop as part of their first overseas tour in 13 years. The Orchestra is marking the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth with their tour alongside Marin Alsop, a student of Bernstein, bringing Bernstein-inspired concerts to London and Edinburgh over his birthday weekend.  The BBC Proms performance will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 in addition to being recorded for future broadcast on BBC 4 on Friday 31 August, enabling wider audiences to experience the excellence of the Orchestra under Marin’s dynamic directorship. 

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is one of the USA’s most historic and pre-eminent international orchestras.  Under the directorship of Marin Alsop it has become a beacon of artistic excellence and has reached new heights of excellence and engagement with the local community.  Marin Alsop has been Music Director of the BSO since 2007 when she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra.  The Orchestra’s position as an artistic force on the world stage continues to grow through recordings, such as their Grammy Award-nominated recording of Bernstein’s Mass with Marin Alsop, and the commissioning of over 40 new works to date.  The Orchestra is also a vital vehicle for social change in Baltimore city, and has immersed itself in the local community. Its OrchKids programme, founded by Marin Alsop, which sees the musicians go to local schools, works with children in local schools, offering educational experiences, performances and mentoring. 

For its tour, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is joined by two world-class soloists: Nicola Benedetti and Jean-Yves Thibaudet, both of whom have performed with the orchestra previously. Benedetti performs Bernstein’s Serenade with Alsop and the Orchestra at the Edinburgh International Festival on 25 August, the centenary of Bernstein’s birth, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet performs Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F in Edinburgh on 24 August and Bernstein’s Symphony No. 2 at the BBC Proms on 27 August. The BSO is the only professional American orchestra performing at the Edinburgh International Festival this year.  

“It is an honor for the exceptional musicians of the BSO to perform with Music Director Marin Alsop at the Proms and Edinburgh International Festival.  We look forward to representing Baltimore and Maryland in our great orchestra’s debut at two of the most prestigious music festivals in the world.” Peter Kjome, CEO and President of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

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 recognized and locally admired for its innovation, performances and recordings, and educational outreach initiatives including OrchKids. Launched by Marin Alsop and the BSO in 2008, OrchKids provides children educational resources and fosters social change through the power of music in some of Baltimore’s most underserved communities.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs annually for more than 350,000 people throughout the State of Maryland. Since 1982, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has performed at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore. In 2005, with the opening of The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD, the BSO became the nation’s first orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas. 

Marin Alsop
Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, Marin Alsop’s tenure has been extended twice and currently runs until 2021. Among the initiatives she has created there are ‘OrchKids’, which brings the BSO’s musicians into schools in socially deprived areas of the city, the BSO Academy and the ‘Rusty Musicians’ for adult amateur musicians.

Alsop has also been Principal Conductor & Music Director of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra since 2012, where she champions a diversified concert programme as well as outreach activities. She has taken them on several international tours, including appearances at the BBC Proms, the Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals and in Berlin, Paris, Salzburg and Vienna to great acclaim. She will become Conductor of Honour at the end of her tenure in 2019.

Marin Alsop conducts international orchestras including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra (with whom she has recorded a complete cycle of the Brahms Symphonies), Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Filarmonica della Scala and Orchestre National de France. In the US she regularly leads the orchestras of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Cleveland and Chicago. Marin Alsop has been announced as the next Chief Conductor at the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra from September 2019. 

24 August | Edinburgh International Festival
Usher Hall, Edinburgh 
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet piano
Stravinsky The Firebird Suite (1919)
Gershwin Piano Concerto in F (Thibaudet)
Schumann Symphony No.2

25 August | Edinburgh International Festival 
Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conductor
Nicola Benedetti violin
Berio, John Corigliano & John Williams Birthday Bouquet
Bernstein Serenade (Benedetti)
Bernstein Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Bernstein Three Dance Episodes from On The Town

27 August | BBC Proms
Royal Albert Hall, London
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conductor
Jean-Yves Thibaudet piano
Bernstein Slava! A Political Overture
Bernstein Symphony No.2 “Age of Anxiety” (Thibaudet)
Shostakovich Symphony No.5

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