Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces Immersive Summer Music Training Program for Amateur Musicians

Ground-breaking BSO Academy involves amateurs playing side-by-side with a major U.S. symphony orchestra

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced today a new summer music training program, the BSO Academy, in which amateur musicians are invited to perform alongside a top professional orchestra. Taking place in Baltimore from Sunday, June 13 through Saturday, June 19, 2010, the BSO Academy will accommodate approximately 120 participants in its first year. The program signals an increasing demand from music audiences for greater levels of participation in creative music-making. In addition to performing side-by-side with members of the BSO under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, adult amateur musicians will experience an intensive week of studying, rehearsing, chamber music and coaching. The Academy will become a vital new component of the Orchestra’s annual summer schedule, made initially possible by principal leadership funding of $950,000 over three years from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Additional support for 2010 BSO Academy conducting faculty is provided by the Bruno Walter Memorial Foundation.

The home of the BSO Academy will be the BSO’s primary venue, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, with additional activities taking place at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, as well as other rehearsal and performance spaces in Baltimore. The full schedule of Academy activities includes side-by-side orchestra rehearsals and performance opportunities with Maestra Alsop and BSO principal musicians; sectionals, coachings and master classes led by BSO musicians; chamber music rehearsals led by BSO musicians; and discussions, lectures and other enrichment classes and activities with Maestra Alsop, BSO musicians and other local music experts. The week will culminate in two public performances: chamber music groups created at the beginning of the week with Academy participants and BSO musicians will perform in a concert on Friday, June 18; and all Academy participants and BSO musicians divided into two Academy orchestras will perform repertoire including Respighi’s Pines of Rome and Richard Strauss’ Also sprach Zarathustra. Full details of these public performances will be announced at a later date.

The BSO Academy extends the BSO’s mission of nurturing the human spirit by inspiring, educating and serving audiences in innovative ways. The Academy was established with three core beliefs: 1) lifelong engagement with symphonic music promotes personal growth and interpersonal connection; 2) those interested in performing and learning about music should have access to the BSO’s musical expertise; and 3) the future of the symphonic orchestra will involve new forms of public interaction and collaboration that will broaden the role of the professional musician outside the concert hall.

“I believe that the future of the American orchestra must involve new avenues for reaching audiences,” says BSO Music Director Marin Alsop. “By bringing together amateur and professional musicians, the BSO Academy creates a new kind of vibrant musical community, characterized by the free exchange of ideas and mutual learning. Providing this unprecedented level of access transforms patrons from passive listeners to active participants in the creative process. This is an exciting step forward for the BSO and our audiences.”

"The idea for an academy originated some years ago among BSO musicians, but it took Maestra Alsop’s commitment to community and adult education and our excellent management team to bring this initiative to fruition,” says BSO English Horn player Jane Marvine. “The musicians are excited about sharing our expertise and passion for great symphonic music, and the fact that half of the orchestra will be serving as faculty demonstrates our strong commitment to the project."


* Visit, fill out an online application form and submit a $35 non-refundable application fee through the website, OR
* Print out application form found at, include a check for the $35 non-refundable application fee made out to Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and mail to:

BSO Academy Coordinator
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
1212 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

For best consideration, applications must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 15, 2010.

Tuition starts at $1,650 with extra training opportunities available for additional fees. See for more details.

To download high-res images of the BSO, please visit:


I'm with Visit Baltimore and we just did a video with Marin Alsop from the BSO. In the video she tells us about her love for Baltimore and her hopes for the orchestra. Check it out at

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