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March 27, 2009

BSO staffer Stephen Jacobsohn to run Shriver Hall Concert Series

Stephen JacobsohnA quick game of musical chairs will see Stephen Jacobsohn, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's much-admired manager of artistic administration, head uptown to the Shriver Hall Concert Series, succeeding David Baldwin as executive director. The series, in its 44th year, is Baltimore's primary importer of recitalists and chamber ensembles, providing a starry lineup on a par with the best presenting organizations in the country.

"We're very excited about Stephen," said Jephta Drachman, president of the Shriver Hall series, said Friday. "He's smart and hard-working, a real gentleman. And he really loves music."

"I'm thrilled for him," BSO president/CEO Paul Meecham said. "It's a great opportunity for him and I know he'll be very successful." Jacobsohn's hiring "reflects well on him and on us, too," Meecham added. "My philosophy is hire good people, but don't expect them to stay forever."

For his part, Jacobsohn said he is "sorry to leave the BSO, but excited to be involved with this incredible organization. There are challenges, of course, but the people there are so dedicated," he said. 

Before joining the BSO four years ago, Jacobsohn worked for a New York-based artists management firm. He's also a cellist (his graduate degree is from the Manhattan School of Music), and, while working in the BSO administration, he did occasional sub work for the orchestra, as well as for other ensembles in the region.

Jacobson starts at Shriver Hall on May 15.


Posted by Tim Smith at 12:30 PM | | Comments (1)


"My philosophy is hire good people, but don't expect them to stay forever."

That's a strange way to think of your staff. I suppose nothing is forever, and I imagine the BSO doesn't exactly have retention bonuses like AIG, but nonprofits are notorious for undervaluing their staff. The BSO's loss is Shriver's gain.

Thanks for the comment -- and the perspective.TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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