Baltimore Symphony Musicians will play three subway concerts, starting today

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Image via the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Facebook page.

Earlier this year, the Maryland Transit Administration installed a piano at the Charles Center Metro station with the invitation: “Play us a song. I’m the piano, man.” According to a Sun story from this month, few people have been willing to take that offer.

So the Baltimore Symphony Musicians, still locked out of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, will give the piano some use with a series of concerts, starting today at 4:15 p.m.

An ensemble of woodwinds players will accompany a piano player at today’s concert, followed by strings on July 31 and brass on Aug. 2. Those shows will also be at 4:15 p.m.

“Some of the best festivals in this country are held in the summer,” oboist Michael Lisicky said via email. “We’ll do ours this year in the Subway!”

Five pianos were supposed to be installed at stations as part of program called “Music in Transit,” but only the Charles Center one has been set up, according to an article last week from The Sun.

The musicians have been locked out by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra management since June, weeks after the summer concert schedule was abruptly cancelled. Both sides have been battling over whether the orchestra can continue as a year-round ensemble.

While the players have argued they’ve made sacrifices over the years and are only asking for a status-quo contract with cost-of-living increases, BSO president and CEO Peter Kjome has said the orchestra must cut its schedule in order to survive.

The labor strife caused the BSO to miss its usual performance schedule at Artscape.

Per Baltimore Symphony Musicians, some players have been able to land freelance work with symphonies in Chicago and Detroit to help make ends meet.

Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel

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