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April 5, 2012

Out West with the BSO: Marin Alsop provides end-of-tour blog post

The final guest post from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's West Coast tour comes right form the top -- music director Marin Alsop:

With the tour barely over (I'm writing this as we wend our way homeward), I'm still on a high from our thrilling final concert last night! (And feeling a bit exhausted from no sleep and too many hours in the plane, too!)

Ending our first tour together in Eugene, Oregon—where I served as Music Director from 1989-1996—was a real treat for me. Eugene is an ...

incredibly special place, filled with generous friends who care deeply about their community and have a profound commitment to impacting the world around us. It is thanks to their immense generosity that we could add a stop in Eugene to our tour.

Many of the BSO musicians joined me in expressing their appreciation to our amazing donors in person at the beautiful reception they held for all of us after the concert.

Walking out onstage last night to that sold out, whooping audience felt like the perfect way to end a wonderful tour! And finishing with Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony felt refreshing and fun. We played two encores and the crowd was still shouting.

The details of the tour were flawless. BSO Director of Operations and Facilities Alicia Lin and her team handled every minute detail with precision and seamlessness.

The presenters couldn't have been more welcoming and appreciative everywhere we went. And the weather was perfect! (It had been raining all month in Eugene but the clouds parted and the sun came out for the BSO's one day visit—right on cue.)

But, most importantly, the musicians played their hearts out. Whether it was the concert for 1,600 school children in Berkeley, or Prokofiev's Fifth Symphony in Orange County, I felt the musicians pushing their artistic bar higher than ever before in a great display of impeccable ensemble, orchestral warmth and true virtuosity. I couldn't have been more proud.

As you can see from the photo below, absolutely everyone seemed to be having fun! Pianist Lura Johnson and stage manager Ennis Seibert working on the stage set-up (or their choreography?) before the final concert in Eugene. 


I'm already looking forward to our next BSO tour.


-- Marin Alsop
Posted by Tim Smith at 5:59 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: BSO, Clef Notes, Marin Alsop

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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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