With Baltimore Symphony Orchestra members’ contract with management set to expire in one week, and potential ensemble-shaping budget cuts still hanging over their heads, the Baltimore Symphony Musicians’ benefit concert for My Sister’s Place, happening tonight at the Basilica downtown, holds a little extra weight.
Grappling with potentially seeing their concert season shortened from 52 to 40 weeks–in the process reducing their salaries by at least 17 percent–the BSO Musicians have dubbed the performance the “Save Our BSO Basilica Brass Concert.”
Andy Balio, principal trumpet for the BSO, said in a letter shared with Baltimore Fishbowl, “Extraordinary times for the Baltimore Symphony Musicians call for extraordinary concerts: concerts that testify to the value that we as musicians in a major symphony orchestra bring to our community and that celebrate our special brand of excellence.”
The BSO Musicians will also be performing to bring in donations for the downtown women’s shelter, housed at the Catholic sanctuary. The concert will be played in a setting with incredible acoustics, and with other world-class musicians joining them in solidarity over their contract dispute. That’ll include players from the Pittsburgh and National Symphony Orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Semper Fi Brass. James Ross, conductor of the National Youth Orchestra and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, will be leading the concert highlighting works by Bach, Strauss, Wagner and others.
Former presidential candidate and Gov. Martin O’Malley will be hosting, and Mayor Catherine Pugh will share some words on behalf of the Baltimore Symphony Musicians.
7 p.m., Baltimore Basilica, 409 Cathedral St., free (donations encouraged), website.
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