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Calling Amateur Musicians

Dec 20, 2011 05:22PM ● By Anonymous

Registration opens Monday, December 19th

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announces its third annual BSO Academy, an immersive summer music program that gives approximately 110 amateur adult musicians the opportunity to perform alongside a top professional orchestra. The BSO Academy will convene in Baltimore, Maryland for eight days—from Saturday, June 23 to Saturday, June 30, 2012. Daily sessions of performance and educational activities will be held at the BSO's primary venue, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) located just a few blocks from the Meyerhoff.

In addition to orchestra rehearsals, sectionals, master classes and personal lessons, the Academy also includes chamber music rehearsals and enrichment classes led by BSO musicians, activities with Maestra Alsop and lectures led by local experts. Chamber music groups created at the beginning of the week with Academy participants and BSO musicians will perform in an intimate concert on Friday, June 29th. On Saturday, June 30, Academy participants and BSO musicians will perform a final concert led by Music Director Marin Alsop, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien, Manuel de Falla’s Three Cornered Hat Suite No. 2, Berlioz’s Roman Carnival Overture and Ravel’s Rapsodie Espanole, as well as selections from both Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet. Leadership support for the BSO Academy from 2010-2012 is generously provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Please see below for complete registration details.

The inaugural BSO Academy took place in June 2010 and drew 46 participants from both the local area and across the country. In its second year, the BSO Academy nearly doubled its enrollment, serving 88 participants from 16 different states and the District of Columbia. The program cultivated greater involvement with and from Academy participants, as alumni have continued to interact with BSO musicians through private lessons, Facebook, increased concert attendance at the BSO’s two venues and involvement in similar participatory events, including “Rusty Musicians with the BSO.” This program welcomes amateur musicians to rehearse and perform across one evening with the BSO under Maestra Alsop’s direction. Programs like the BSO Academy and Rusty Musicians exemplify the BSO’s mission to better connect with existing and new audiences through greater levels of active participation in creative music-making. Approximately one-third of Academy participants had previously attended a Rusty’s event.

BSO Assistant Principal Second Violin Ivan Stefanovic summarized the 2010 BSO Academy final concert, “[The Academy participants’] faces on stage say it all, even as they range from apprehension to elation and excitement. They are doing something that is very different from their daily lives, and it's challenging them in that way in which human beings like to be challenged most: both emotionally and intellectually.”

“As an adult performer, I have participated in a few summer workshops, but never one so suited to my artistic growth,” said 2011 BSO Academy participant, D’Arcy Weinberger. “The thrill of working with the BSO musicians and Maestra Alsop is inexplicable.”

About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives.

The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra’s 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop’s leadership has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences.

Under Music Director Marin Alsop’s leadership, the BSO has rapidly added several critically acclaimed albums to its already impressive discography. The BSO and Maestra Alsop partnered with the Naxos label to record a three-disk Dvořák symphony cycle. The first disc, which includes Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” and Symphonic Variations, was released in February 2008. The second disk in this cycle features Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8, was released in June 2010, and the third disk features Symphony No. 6, Nocturne in B major, and Scherzo capriccioso was released in 2010. The BSO and Maestra Alsop also recorded and released with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet a one-disk recording of Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue & Piano Concerto in 2010. In August 2009, the BSO and Marin Alsop released Bernstein’s Mass featuring baritone Jubilant Sykes, the Morgan State University Choir and the Peabody Children’s Chorus. The album rose to number six on the Classical Billboard Charts and received a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Classical Album. The Orchestra made its foray into online distribution in April 2007 with the release of a live-concert recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring on iTunes, which quickly became the site’s number one classical music download.

In addition to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the orchestra has performed for 28 years, the BSO is a founding partner and the resident orchestra at the new state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore, just outside Washington, D.C. With the opening of Strathmore in February 2005, the BSO became the nation’s only major orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas.


Visit to fill out an online application form and submit the $35 non-refundable application fee through the website, OR
Print out the PDF application form found at and write a check for the $35 non-refundable application fee made out to the “Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.” Mail your check and application to: BSO Education Associate

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street Baltimore, MD 21201

Applicants must be at least 25 years old for consideration into the program. Registration opens Friday, December 16th. All applications, supplemental materials and the $35 non-refundable application fee must be received by 12 p.m. on February 1, 2012.

Base tuition for the BSO Academy is $1,750 with opportunities for chamber music and private lessons available at additional costs. See for more details.

Laura Farmer, 410.783.8024