Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Biography

Active: February 11, 1916 - ; Baltimore, MD
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra was established as a municipal ensemble with funding from local government agencies. The orchestra's first concert took place at the Lyric Theatre on February 11, 1916; its players were mostly local musicians joined by a few members of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Gustav Strube was appointed the group's first musical director in 1917. During his 13-year tenure, the number of concerts gradually increased, children's Read more concerts were established in 1924, and several famous artists and guest conductors were attracted, including Siegfried Wagner, son of the composer. Strube's departure in 1930 resulted in a period of uncertainty for the orchestra, worsened by the national depression. His successor was George Siemonn, who worked vigorously for increased municipal funding and for the introduction of new compositions at concerts. He also conducted the orchestra's historic first radio broadcast concerts. Ernest Schelling was appointed music director in 1935 and became the first BSO conductor to lead a performance of Handel's Messiah during Christmas week. Following Schelling, Werner Janssen was appointed music director in 1937. He would become well-known for his film scores, which included Jean Renoir's 1945 The Southerner and the Marx Brothers' 1946 comedy A Night in Casablanca. He was succeeded by Harold Barlow in 1939, but neither of these two conductors could overcome the financial and morale problems plaguing the orchestra. In 1942, the director of Baltimore's Peabody Conservatory, Reginald Stewart, was appointed music director of the BSO. A talented pianist and conductor, the Scottish-born Stewart initiated many changes. By 1945, with the help of Eleanor Roosevelt and Met star Rosa Ponselle, the orchestra's size was increased to 90 members, its schedule of concerts expanded, and its repertory broadened. By the early 1950s, however, deficits and other problems precipitated Stewart's resignation and the departure of several orchestra members. Italian conductor Massimo Freccia took the reins in 1952 and immediately set diligently to work for solutions to the many difficulties facing the orchestra. He often presented concert versions of operas and conducted other large-scale works, drawing in sizable audiences. Peter Herman Adler succeeded Freccia in 1959. Under his directorship, regular subscription concerts and youth and children's concerts substantially increased and numerous new compositions were presented or premiered. In 1964, the orchestra began performing with the Baltimore Civic Opera Company. Romanian-born Sergiu Comissiona was appointed music director in 1968 by philanthropist Joseph Meyerhoff, who had become president of the symphony orchestra organization three years earlier. These two figures guided the orchestra to some of its greatest artistic triumphs, as well as to financial stability over the next decade and a half. Comissiona made numerous recordings with the orchestra and led many successful tours abroad. Meyerhoff donated $10.5 million toward the construction of a new hall, covering nearly half its final cost. The orchestra gave its first concert in Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on September 16, 1982. American David Zinman, previously conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, was appointed music director in 1985 and maintained the high standards set during the Comissiona era. He also made numerous recordings, and the orchestra began regular radio broadcasts in 1986. Zinman and the BSO won several Grammy awards, the first in 1987 in a collaborative effort with Yo-Yo Ma featuring cello concertos by Britten and Barber. Russian conductor Yuri Temirkanov succeeded Zinman in 1999. Temirkanov and the orchestra are frequently heard on NPR's Performance Today and regularly make recordings. Read less
Browse 26-50 of 66 Available Recordings
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  • 26.
    Dvorak: Symphony No 6, Nocturne, Scherzo Capriccioso / Alsop, Baltimore Symphony
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570995 Release Date: 11/16/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 27.
    The Music Of America: Leonard Bernstein
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 771772 Release Date: 06/08/2010   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Rosalind Russell,  Sydney Chaplin,  Hilary Hahn,  Benny Goodman
    Conductor:  Leonard Slatkin,  Leonard Bernstein,  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New York Philharmonic,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  New York Philharmonic members
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    CD: $21.49
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  • 28.
    Dvorak: Symphonies No 7 & 8 / Alsop, Baltimore SO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8572112 Release Date: 05/25/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $11.99
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  • 29.
    Gershwin: Rhapsody In Blue, Piano Concerto / Thibaudet, Alsop, Baltimore SO
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001409102 Release Date: 04/27/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin
    Performer:  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $24.99
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  • 30.
    Bernstein: Mass / Sykes, Alsop, Baltimore SO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8559622-23 Release Date: 08/25/2009   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Leonard Bernstein
    Performer:  Jubilant Sykes
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $23.99
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  • 31.
    Classical Prep School - Essential Music
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80749 Release Date: 08/11/2009   Number of Discs: 4
    Composer:  Felix Mendelssohn,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Richard Wagner,  Edvard Grieg  ... 
    Performer:  John O'Conor,  James Van Demark,  Rudolf Serkin,  Michael Chertock  ... 
    Conductor:  Michael Bishop,  Yoel Levi,  Erich Kunzel,  Lorin Maazel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Pops,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 32.
    Ultimate Classical Dreams - The Essential Masterpieces
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001280302 Release Date: 04/21/2009   Number of Discs: 5
    Composer:  Gabriel Fauré,  Joaquin Rodrigo,  Samuel Barber,  Claude Debussy  ... 
    Performer:  Marisa Robles,  Jack Brymer,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa  ... 
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  David Zinman,  Frederick Fennell,  Sir Neville Marriner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $24.99
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  • 33.
    O'Connor: Americana Symphony, Violin Concerto No 6 / O'Connor, Alsop
    Label: Omac   Catalog: 5639155989 Release Date: 03/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Mark O'Connor
    Performer:  Mark O'Connor
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop,  Joel Smirnoff
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra
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    CD: $15.99
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  • 34.
    Dvorák: Symphony No 9, Symphonic Variations / Alsop, Baltimore SO
    Label: Naxos   Catalog: 8570714 Release Date: 05/27/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonín Dvorák
    Conductor:  Marin Alsop
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 35.
    Barber, Walton: Violin Concertos / Bell, Zinman, Baltimore
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000797002 Release Date: 01/09/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir William Walton,  Samuel Barber,  Ernest Bloch
    Performer:  Joshua Bell
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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    CD: $19.99
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  • 36.
    The Divine Feminine
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80689 Release Date: 10/24/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hildegard of Bingen,  John Tavener,  Arvo Pärt,  Tomás Luis de Victoria  ... 
    Performer:  Carlo Willems,  Elly Ameling,  Sylvia McNair,  Richard Leech  ... 
    Conductor:  Rudolf Werthen,  Robert Shaw,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Yoel Levi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Tapestry,  I Fiamminghi,  Robert Shaw Festival Singers  ... 
    CD: $10.99
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  • 37.
    The Essential Joshua Bell
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000518502 Release Date: 09/13/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ernest Chausson,  Gabriel Fauré,  Edwin Grasse,  Pablo de Sarasate  ... 
    Performer:  Joshua Bell,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet,  Samuel Sanders,  Paul Coker
    Conductor:  Andrew Litton,  David Zinman,  Charles Dutoit,  Christoph von Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Takács String Quartet,  Royal Philarmonic Orquestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 38.
    Breathe - The Relaxing Piano
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80652 Release Date: 08/23/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Andrew Lloyd Webber,  Ennio Morricone,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  ... 
    Performer:  Michael Chertock,  André Arpino,  Vincent Charbonnier,  Jacques Loussier  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras,  David Zinman,  Seiji Ozawa
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Jacques Loussier Trio,  Scottish Chamber Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $10.99
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  • 39.
    Historical - Ravel: Concerto For Left Hand, Etc / Fleisher
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1614 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Maurice Ravel
    Performer:  Leon Fleisher
    Conductor:  Sergiu Comissiona
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $10.99
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  • 40.
    World Premiere Collection - Corigliano, Cowell, Et Al
    Label: First Edition   Catalog: 32 Release Date: 03/01/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Roy Harris,  John Harbison,  Tobias Picker,  Joan Tower  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  The Louisville Orchestra,  Houston Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 41.
    Michael Torke - Ecstatic Collection
    Label: Ecstatic Records   Catalog: 92299 Release Date: 11/02/2004   Number of Discs: 6
    Composer:  Michael Torke
    Performer:  Catherine Bott,  Valdine Anderson,  Kurt Ollmann,  John Harle  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Michael Torke,  Edo de Waart,  Yoel Levi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Argo Band,  Netherlands Radio Chorus  ... 
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    CD: $67.49
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  • 42.
    Michael Torke - Three
    Label: Ecstatic Records   Catalog: 92203 Release Date: 11/02/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Torke
    Performer:  John Harle
    Conductor:  Yoel Levi,  David Alan Miller,  Michael Torke,  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Albany Symphony Orchestra,  Philharmonia Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $13.99
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  • 43.
    Michael Torke - One
    Label: Ecstatic Records   Catalog: 92201 Release Date: 09/07/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Michael Torke
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 44.
    Masterpieces - Respighi: Orchestral Works
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1227 Release Date: 07/27/2004   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ottorino Respighi
    Conductor:  Christopher Lyndon-Gee,  Sergiu Comissiona
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Australian Chamber Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $13.99
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  • 45.
    The Romantic Violin / Joshua Bell
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 000278302 Release Date: 07/13/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johannes Brahms,  Edouard Lalo,  Jules Massenet,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Sanders,  Joshua Bell,  Paul Coker,  Jean-Yves Thibaudet
    Conductor:  Charles Dutoit,  Andrew Litton,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Christoph von Dohnányi  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Montreal Symphony Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cleveland Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $22.49
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  • 46.
    American Maestros - Classical Selections
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80606 Release Date: 07/22/2003   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Traditional,  George Frideric Handel,  George Enescu  ... 
    Performer:  Christine Goerke,  Richard Leech,  Sylvia McNair
    Conductor:  Robert Spano,  Craig Jessop,  Martin Pearlman,  Erich Kunzel  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,  Orchestra at Temple Square,  Mormon Tabernacle Choir  ... 
    ArkivCD $16.99
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  • 47.
    Classics - Schumann: Symphonies No 1 & 4 / Zinman, Baltimore
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80230 Release Date: 07/22/2003   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $10.99
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  • 48.
    For Your Life - For Your Soul
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 472412 Release Date: 08/27/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tomaso Albinoni,  Franz Schubert,  Henry Purcell,  Ernest Chausson  ... 
    Performer:  Martin Haselböck,  Arthur Grumiaux,  István Hajdu,  Heinz Holliger  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Münchinger,  Richard Hickox,  Charles Dutoit,  James Levine  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra,  Richard Hickox Orchestra,  I Musici  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 49.
    Evening Adagios - Over 2 1/2 Hours Of Peaceful Evening Music
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470780 Release Date: 07/16/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Erich Wolfgang Korngold,  Sir Edward Elgar,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Kjell Lysell,  Bengt Forsberg,  Mats Lidström,  Ulf Forsberg  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Neville Marriner,  István Kertész,  Riccardo Chailly,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields,  Vienna Haydn Orchestra,  Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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  • 50.
    The #1 Classical Album
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 470933 Release Date: 05/14/2002   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Johann Strauss Sr.,  Giacomo Puccini  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa,  Luciano Pavarotti,  Nigel Kennedy,  Carlos Bonell  ... 
    Conductor:  Riccardo Chailly,  Willi Boskovsky,  Julius Rudel,  Zubin Mehta  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Milan Teatro alla Scala Orchestra,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $18.99
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