"Here we are now, and look how we've grown." With those words, Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra two years ago. Her remark held a double meaning. She was reminiscing about the fact she had attended, as a 16-year-old, the orchestra's first concert in 1916. Many who heard her that evening in Meyerhoff Hall also recalled the vital role Mrs. Rosenberg and her late husband, Henry A. Rosenberg Sr., played in building the orchestra to its first-class status today.
Mrs. Rosenberg, who died Friday at 92, will be remembered for a great many philanthropies, but most of all for her contributions to the musical life of this city. Just as she and her husband came to the rescue of the symphony a half-century ago, she was a key figure in the public and private campaign to resolve the financial crisis that threatened the existence of the Peabody Institute in 1990. She was also active at Goucher College, the Walters Art Gallery and the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Those who worked with Mrs. Rosenberg remember her not just as someone who wrote checks with great generousity. She was an energetic participant on the boards of several of the city's leading cultural institutions. No token trustee, she contributed valuable advice as well. Baltimore is much better for having known her.