Baltimore Symphony Orchestra launches trove of online videos, podcasts

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Marin Alsop conducts the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. The 2020-2021 season will be her last as music director. Photo courtesy of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

Unable to open up the doors of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall for concerts, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is taking its performances online.

Earlier today, the orchestra launched BSO OffStage, a collection of videos and podcasts that feature recital performances by the orchestra’s musicians, archival footage, masterclasses, interviews and discussions of classical works by some of the masters.

“Time and time again, all over the world, all throughout history, we see how music brings us together during times of celebration, and especially during times of crisis,” music director Marin Alsop said in a video message. “Just as we are committed to doing our part to stop the spread of the virus, we are also committed to sharing the healing power of music, finding new ways to be of service and making meaningful connections during this time of social distancing.”

Here’s a rundown of what’s on the site:

  • BSO Performances: This section features at-home recitals, segments of soloists or sections performing parts of Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 and a video from of David Zinman leading the orchestra during a 1994 concert in Japan.
  • At Home with the BSO: Including a coronavirus-themed take on Eric Carmen’s “All By Myself” and a video demonstrating a roll of toilet paper’s second use as a horn mute. The section will eventually include practice tips, anecdotes and more.
  • BSO Podcasts: WBJC 91.5 FM program director Jonathan Palevsky discusses works by Mendelssohn, Mahler, Vivaldi, Mozart and others.
  • Virtual Governing Members Lounge: Offering patrons and donors a chance to interact with BSO leadership, including a live Q&A scheduled for March 26 with Alsop and composer Anna Clyne.
  • Educational Activities: This section will eventually include tutorial videos, craft activities and more.

The BSO said it will continue its OrchKids program teaching children to play classical music using the online tool Teacher Zone, and they’ve shared a video demonstrating how that works.

BSO musicians will also take part in live performances on the orchestra’s Facebook page.

Brandon Weigel

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