THE BALTIMORE Symphony Orchestra holds its first soloist competition next weekend among 55 young musicians competing for cash prizes and for a chance to play with the BSO if David Zinman, the music director, feels the winner is good enough.
The public is invited to the free finals at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28, but tickets are needed (two to a person). Call 783-8000.
To be eligible, the competitors, age 16 to 25, all have some Maryland tie, such as Maryland residence or being a student or teacher in a Maryland school. They represent the country's major music conservatories, local colleges and seven Maryland high schools.
The 55 contestants consist of 16 violinists, 10 flutists and four players each of the cello, clarinet and trombone. Others play percussion, harp, viola, bassoon, tuba, alto saxophone, oboe and double bass. Three cash prizes of $2,000, $1,500 and $750 are planned.
Judging in a closed preliminary audition by 15 BSO player-volunteers on Saturday will reduce the 55 hopefuls to a few finalists. Semi-final judging is a possibility. Finalists may be picked in four main instrument categories: strings, brass, percussion and woodwinds.
The Baltimore Symphony Associates, headed by president Frances Angelino, planned the 75th birthday year event. Carol Bogash heads her competition committee. Zinman joins three other finalist judges, all accomplished musicians:
Marta Casals Istomin, artistic director of the Kennedy Center from 1980 to 1990 and music director of the Festivals Casals Organization in Puerto Rico; Donald Reinhold, assistant director of the Maryland Summer Institute for the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Maryland, College Park; and Vladimir Sokoloff, faculty member of the Curtis Institute of Music since 1936 and Philadelphia Orchestra pianist for 17 years.