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By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 12, 2013
Baltimore Symphony Music Director Marin Alsop has canceled more conducting engagements as a result of injuring her July 1 falling in her hotel room in Brazil.  She canceled her gigs for the rest of the month. In order to recuperate fully, Alsop has now also canceled her annual appearance next month as music director and conductor of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in Santa Cruz, Ca. That engagement would have required conducting a lot of demanding new repertoire. Carolyn Kuan, music director for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and former associate conductor of the Cabrillo Festival, and Brad Lubman, former assistant conductor at Tanglewood Music Center, will fill in for Alsop at the festival, which runs Aug. 2 to 11. The festival released this statement from Alsop: "While I am deeply disappointed that I can't conduct this year's Festival, the adventurous program that we've put together will delight and surprise in the way only Cabrillo can. And I have the greatest confidence in Carolyn and Brad to bring this new music to life.
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By Tim Smith and The Baltimore Sun | September 27, 2014
You might suspect some strange jinx, or wonder if the third time's the harm. But the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is taking a rash of high-profile artist cancellations in stride. On July 29 came the news that actor/singer and star of Showtime's "Homeland" Mandy Patinkin had withdrawn from his BSO SuperPops program scheduled for January "due to a schedule conflict. " He would be replaced by "Seinfeld" veteran Jason Alexander. On Sept. 15, three days before the opening night of the season, the orchestra announced that Baltimore's own Hilary Hahn would not be on hand to play Beethoven's Violin Concerto as planned because the popular artist needed "to recover fully from a muscle strain.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 3, 2013
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director Marin Alsop had an accident Monday night at her hotel in Brazil, where she has been conducting concerts with her other orchestra, the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra. Alsop, who injured her wrist when she slipped in her hotel bathroom, has canceled conducting engagements for the remainder of July and is returning to the U.S. In a statement released by the BSO Tuesday, the orchestra's president and CEO Paul Meecham said: "Marin Alsop has a devoted following of thousands of people around the world ... The BSO joins this community of supporters and wishes our Maestra a speedy recovery.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 22, 2014
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has been showing a lot of love for the bicentennial of the Battle of Baltimore and the poem Francis Scott Key was inspired to write after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry. The BSO celebrated that anniversary on Sept. 13 during the nationally televised Star-Spangled Spectacular concert at Pier Six, then kept the theme going for its annual gala, an all-American concert held Saturday night at Meyerhoff Hall. There was a good deal of novelty on the short program (in between dinner and dessert offered for premium gala-goers in a tent set up outside)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2013
Marin Alsop, who began her appointment as Baltimore Symphony Orchestra music director in 2007, has signed a new contract extending her tenure through August 2021. Alsop's hiring made international headlines, both because she was the first woman to gain the top artistic post at a major American orchestra and because the BSO players initially objected, describing the search process as rushed. Since that bumpy start, Alsop and the musicians have developed a smooth working relationship and have enjoyed considerable successes locally and nationally (several visits to Carnegie Hall generated high praise)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 3, 2013
If it has a good beat, you can count on Marin Alsop to conduct it with infectious energy. That point is being driven home by her latest program with the Baltimore Symphony, which has one more local performance before the orchestra takes it to Carnegie Hall on Monday. To start this sampling of 20th and 21st century repertoire, there is the pulsating “Shaker Loops,” an early-1980s classic of minimalism for string orchestra by John Adams. To close, Sergei Prokofiev's Symphony No. 4 (the revised version of 1947)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 9, 2013
LONDON -- The Last Night of the Proms became a First Night for Women on Saturday when Marin Alsop walked onto the stage of the massive and festively adorned Royal Albert Hall and made a bit of history in this history-drenched country. “A lot has been made of me being the first woman to conduct the Last Night,” Alsop told the crowd of about 6,000 inside the hall and masses more watching on giant screens in Hyde Park and locations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. She was cut off by a storm of cheers and applause before continuing: “I'm incredibly honored and proud, but I have to say it's amazing that there can still be a first for women in 2013.” That's the message that Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Sao Paolo Symphony Orchestra, kept telling the British press in the days leading up to what is one of the most popular annual events on the culture calendar here.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 5, 2014
The parents of Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, have died within the space of 12 days. Both were musicians whose careers included longtime service in the New York City Ballet Orchestra. Ruth Alsop, a cellist in that ensemble for more than 50 years, died Jan. 23 in Melrose , Mass., at the age of 82. She recently donated several instruments to the BSO. Keith Lamar Alsop, who died Feb. 3 in Baltimore at the age of 85, was concertmaster of the ballet orchestra for more than three decades.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2014
The past few weeks have been rough on Marin Alsop. Late last month, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's music director gathered with family and friends in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., at the bedside of her mother. Ruth Alsop, whose career included playing cello in the New York City Ballet Orchestra for more than 50 years, died Jan. 23 at the age of 82. Eleven days later, the conductor was back in Baltimore at another bedside, her father's. Lamar Alsop, who was concertmaster of that same ballet orchestra for more than three decades, died Feb. 3 at the age of 85. "My mother was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in September," Alsop said.
EXPLORE
By Mike Giuliano | September 6, 2011
It's still late-summer, but classical musicians can hardly wait to get back into the concert hall for the 2011-2012 season. One of the first to return is the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra . Conductor Marin Alsop leads a Gala Celebration concert Sept. 10 at Baltimore's Meyerhoff Symphony Hall that features a Baltimore native, violinist Hilary Hahn , playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. This program also includes a BSO-commissioned piece, David T. Little's Baltimore-themed "Charm," reinforcing Alsop's commitment to new music.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 20, 2014
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 99th season -- Marin Alsop's eighth as music director -- promises to be eventful. That's the take-away from Friday night's performance at Meyerhoff Hall, where the concert will be repeated Sunday afternoon. Longtime BSO listeners cannot fail to notice the tightness of the ensemble these days, the disciplined articulation, the cohesive sound. Budget constraints have kept the orchestra from maximum strength for years (100-plus full-time players would be ideal; 80-something has been the norm)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
Far from the smoothest production imaginable, and a little too reminiscent of a typical, lightweight PBS fundraiser, the "Star-Spangled Spectacular" concert Saturday night at Pier Six nonetheless delivered a decent level of entertainment for a sizable, enthusiastic crowd. In his opening remarks, the host, actor John Lithgow, called the program "a tribute to a great national treasure, American music. " That meant mostly the pop side of the musical spectrum, of course, since this event was nationally broadcast and nothing too classical would likely have been approved.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
"Great Performances," the PBS showcase of American performing arts, came to town for the Star-Spangled Spectacular concert at Pier Six Saturday night and showed how to make great, live television. On paper, the lineup of talent for the concert celebrating the bicentennial of the national anthem was a very mixed bag: Melissa Etheridge, Denyce Graves-Montgomery, Little Big Town, Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Kristin Chenoweth, Jordin Sparks, Pentatonix, Paulo Szot, Train, The Navy Band Sea Chanters and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Marin Alsop.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 9, 2014
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has appointed Markus Stenz as principal guest conductor for a three-year term commencing with the 2015-2016 season. The German conductor, who is principal conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, made a sensational BSO debut in 2012 . In a statement released Wednesday, Stenz said that his "first encounter [with the BSO] in October 2012 is unforgettable to me. I loved the musicians' sophisticated and joyous approach to music making and look forward to experiencing a wide variety of repertoire with the orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2014
Marin Alsop, who led a vigorous account of Beethoven's Ninth last month with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra , will conduct that same iconic work on Sunday with her ensemble in Brazil, the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, as a World Cup salute. This performance will be streamed live for free on the terrific classical Web site, medici.tv , at 4:30 p.m. EST on July 6. Joining the Sao Paulo orchestra and two choirs (Coro Academico da OSESP and Coro da OSESP)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2014
  By now, you have surely heard all about the Seattle Symphony's Web-phenomenon -- a viral YouTube clip of the orchestra teaming up with Sir Mix-a-Lot for a version of his 1990s posterior-fixated rap hit "Baby Got Back. " By now, you may also be in counseling after seeing the video. Some folks, among them the ever-readable classical music pooh-bah Norman Lebrecht , have railed mightily against what went down in Seattle. Others see this as a harmless bit of cross-over that can catch the attention of folks who otherwise may never give a symphony orchestra a second thought.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2014
Marin Alsop, who led a vigorous account of Beethoven's Ninth last month with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra , will conduct that same iconic work on Sunday with her ensemble in Brazil, the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, as a World Cup salute. This performance will be streamed live for free on the terrific classical Web site, medici.tv , at 4:30 p.m. EST on July 6. Joining the Sao Paulo orchestra and two choirs (Coro Academico da OSESP and Coro da OSESP)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2014
A year after 9/11, the New York Philharmonic premiered "On the Transmigration of Souls," a reflective work for chorus and orchestra by John Adams that incorporates words and phrases from messages posted near the site of the World Trade Center, from interviews with survivors and, most chillingly, from a flight attendant on one of the doomed planes. To follow such a somber work, the Philharmonic's then-music director Lorin Maazel chose music of solidarity and joy, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9. This pairing seemed just right to me when I heard that Philharmonic concert almost 12 years ago. It seemed just as right, just as effective, when Marin Alsop led the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in this same pairing on Thursday night at Meeryhoff Hall to close the 2013-2014 season.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun | May 30, 2014
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra could have included just a little sample of Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" to go with its latest program, which includes the overture and incidental music Mendelssohn wrote under the spell of that play. But this is an all-out production, and a beguiling one at that. Created in association with Washington's superb Folger Theatre, the semi-staged presentation, cleverly adapted and directed by Edward Berkeley, provides a generous helping of "Midsummer.
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