Baltimore Chamber Orchestra to resume (almost) normal operations in 2009-2010 season
Good news, for a change. The Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, which suspended normal operations earlier this year due to the economic slump, has improved its financial picture sufficiently to return to a regular concert season in October.
Well, almost regular. The budget will be half of what it would be normally. Music director Markand Thakar has volunteered to work without pay. Instead of five orchestral programs, there will be three, plus one recital. But, still, this is an encouraging development for the BCO, which has a long history of quality service to the community behind it, and good news for Baltimore's recession-buffeted classical music scene.
The orchestral programs will include several of classical music's greatest hits. The season will open Oct. 18 with a concert featuring Beethoven's Fifth and music of Mendelssohn; the Handel Choir of Baltimore will participate in this program. The BCO's concertmaster, Madeline Adkins, will be featured in Vivaldi's Four Seasons in February. And the season finale, in May 2010, offers Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 with soloist Xiang Gao. The recital on the lineup is by guitarist Ana Vidovic in January; the BCO is applying for grant money to turn that presentation into a concert with orchestra.
Meanwhile, you can still catch the BCO in action this season. On May 6 at Kraushaar Auditorium, the orchestra will record viola concertos by Stamitz and Hoffmeister, featuring Victoria Chiang. The session is being treated like a concert, preceded by a discussion/Q&A with Thakar, Chiang (the conductor's wife) and recording engineer Jamey Lamar. Subscribers to the abbreviated '08-'09 season can use their tickets for this event.