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 51-66 of 66 Available Recordings
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  • 51.
    Movie Adagios / Solti, Tebaldi, Lupu, Schiff, Fleming, Et Al
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 468506 Release Date: 10/09/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Giacomo Puccini,  Andrea Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  András Schiff,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Renée Fleming,  Dietfried Gürtler  ... 
    Conductor:  András Schiff,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Nick Ingman,  Charles Dutoit  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Prague Philharmonia  ... 
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  • 52.
    Violin Adagios
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 467675 Release Date: 03/20/2001   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Jules Massenet,  Max Bruch,  Antonio Vivaldi,  Johann Sebastian Bach  ... 
    Performer:  Nigel Kennedy,  Kyung-Wha Chung,  Alan Loveday,  Maurice Hasson  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Bonynge,  Rudolf Kempe,  Sir Neville Marriner,  Sir Alexander Gibson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Philharmonic Orchestra,  Academy of St. Martin in the Fields  ... 
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  • 53.
    The Best Of Tchaikovsky / Mackerras, Zinman, Slatkin, Et Al
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80539 Release Date: 06/27/2000   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Performer:  Horacio Gutierrez
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Erich Kunzel,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Leonard Slatkin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 54.
    Romantic Adagios
    Label: London/Decca Double Decker   Catalog: 466710 Release Date: 06/13/2000   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar,  Gabriel Fauré,  Dmitri Shostakovich,  Camille Saint-Saëns  ... 
    Performer:  Cristina Ortiz,  Marie Goossens,  Jascha Silberstein,  Carlos Bonell  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti,  Charles Dutoit,  Vladimir Ashkenazy,  Gianandrea Gavazzeni  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Montreal Symphony Chorus,  Montreal Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 55.
    Shakespeare's Music
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80551 Release Date: 07/27/1999   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Stephen Warbeck,  Patrick Doyle,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Felix Mendelssohn  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Yoel Levi,  David Zinman,  Lorin Maazel
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  May Festival Chorus,  Atlanta Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 56.
    American Masters - Leslie Bassett: Variations, Sextet, Etc
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 677 Release Date: 11/29/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leslie Bassett
    Performer:  Andrew Jennings,  Norman Fischer,  John Kochanowski,  Mark Sokol  ... 
    Conductor:  Jonathan Sternberg,  Sergiu Comissiona
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Zurich Radio Symphony,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Concord String Quartet
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  • 57.
    Lazarof: Concerto For Flute, Spectrum, Canti, Etc / Galway
    Label: Composers Recordings, Inc. (Cri)   Catalog: 588 Release Date: 04/20/1994   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Henri Lazarof
    Performer:  James Galway,  Thomas Stevens
    Conductor:  Henri Lazarof,  Sergiu Comissiona,  Roger Wagner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  New Philharmonia Orchestra,  Utah Symphony Orchestra,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 58.
    Classics For All Seasons - Autumn
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80327 Release Date: 08/24/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber,  César Franck,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  Bedrich Smetana  ... 
    Performer:  John Korman,  Beverly Schiebler,  John Sant'Ambrogio,  Thomas Dumm  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Kunzel,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos,  Leonard Slatkin,  Zdenek Macal  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cincinnati Pops,  Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra,  St. Louis Symphony Orchestra  ... 
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  • 59.
    Barber: Adagio, Symphony No 1, Etc / Zinman, Baltimore So
    Label: Argo   Catalog: 436288 Release Date: 10/13/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Samuel Barber
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 60.
    Rachmaninoff: Symphony No 2, Etc / Zinman, Baltimore So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80312 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Sylvia McNair
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    CD: $18.99
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  • 61.
    The Telarc Collection Vol 3
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 89103 Release Date: 06/30/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thelonious Monk,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Mark Fisher,  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky  ... 
    Performer:  Charlie Sepulveda,  Wynton Marsalis,  Dizzy Gillespie,  Paul Katz  ... 
    Conductor:  David Zinman,  Sir Charles Mackerras,  Erich Kunzel,  Jesús Lopez-Cobos  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Cleveland String Quartet,  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,  Prague Chamber Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $6.99
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  • 62.
    Stravinsky: The Firebird, Etc / Zinman, Baltimore SO
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80270 Release Date: 06/14/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Igor Stravinsky
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 63.
    Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, Etc / Zinman, Baltimore SO
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 5085023 Release Date: 04/23/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Hector Berlioz
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 64.
    Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4, Etc / Zinman, Baltimore So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80228 Release Date: 07/24/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 65.
    Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No 1, Etc / Gutiérrez, Zinman
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80193 Release Date: 07/13/1990   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky,  Sergei Rachmaninov
    Performer:  Horacio Gutierrez
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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  • 66.
    Elgar: Enigma Variations, Etc / Zinman, Baltimore So
    Label: Telarc   Catalog: 80192 Release Date: 10/09/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Conductor:  David Zinman
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
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