The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra’s 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop’s leadership has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences.
Under Music Director Marin Alsop’s leadership, the BSO has rapidly added several critically acclaimed albums to its already impressive discography. The BSO and Maestra Alsop partnered with the Naxos label to record a three-disk Dvo?ák symphony cycle. The first disc, which includes Symphony No. 9, “From the New World” and Symphonic Variations, was released in February 2008. The second disk in this cycle features Symphonies Nos. 7 and 8, was released in June 2010, and the third disk features Symphony No. 6, Nocturne in B major, and Scherzo capriccioso was released in 2010. Following the success of the BSO’s cycle of Dvo?ák recordings, the BSO released two new recordings in 2012. The first features Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, and the second, Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan.” The BSO and Maestra Alsop also recorded and released with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet a one-disk recording of Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue & Piano Concerto in 2010. In August 2009, the BSO and Marin Alsop released Bernstein’s Mass featuring baritone Jubilant Sykes, the Morgan State University Choir and the Peabody Children’s Chorus. The album rose to number six on the Classical Billboard Charts and received a 2009 Grammy nomination for Best Classical Album. The Orchestra made its foray into online distribution in April 2007 with the release of a live-concert recording of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring on iTunes, which quickly became the site’s number one classical music download.
In addition to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, where the orchestra has performed for 28 years, the BSO is a founding partner and the resident orchestra at the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore, just outside of Washington, D.C. With the opening of Strathmore in February 2005, the BSO became the nation’s only major orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas.