Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 11, 2023

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offers musical escape

By JASON NGUYEN | November 1, 2018


MDGovpics/C.C. BY 2.0

A performance at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall from 2015.

Tired of listening to the same four songs off your playlist? Or perhaps C-level of the Milton S. Eisenhower Library and its quiet expanse is beginning to feel too familiar for your taste? You’re in luck: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) brings exciting entertainment for all people who enjoy concert music. The fall season will bring several concerts, including many that are holiday-themed.

The Grammy-winning BSO is primarily located at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. It is recognized as having achieved a place among America’s most excellent orchestras and is one of Maryland’s most significant cultural institutions.

Established in 1916, the BSO pledges to perform the highest quality symphonic music of all time periods. Each year, attendance is reported to be over 350,000 people. 

Orchestra fans may recognize the BSO’s past concerts in the 2017-2018 calendar: Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition” and Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances.” And yes, many of Beethoven’s compositions are also played by the BSO for orchestra fans.

More casual music listeners may recognize the BSO’s renditions of Star Wars: A New Hope in concert or the national anthem. And if you had a great childhood, you might also recognize the familiar and cathartic “Hedwig’s Theme” from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in concert.

Casual visitors who want a more upbeat, modern performance may be interested in BSO Pulse. The fairly recent addition to the BSO is back for their fourth season. 

BSO Pulse combines the distinct genres of classical music and indie artists into one platform. Each of these particular concerts crosses genres. The show opens with a classical performance by members of the BSO, followed by a performance from the BSO’s featured artist. It ends with a unique collaborative effort between the two groups. 

The next Pulse concert is the BSO Pulse: Parquet Courts. This indie American rock band is quickly dominating the alternative music scene with their punk-rock hits. Their latest album, Human Performance, was praised by both The New Yorker and Rolling Stone.

Liam Harrington, a Hopkins sophomore and orchestra fan, has seen world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson perform Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.” He also witnessed a BSO-performed contemporary piece celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Harrington commented on the value of the BSO to Hopkins students. 

“This is a great, affordable way for Hopkins students to experience top-notch orchestral music right here in Baltimore,” he said. 

He’s not wrong — the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra offers a Student Select Pass for $30, granting unlimited admission to regular season classical concerts. You can also bring a friend for an extra $10. However, if you opt-out of the Select Pass or if your friends are conveniently “busy” that weekend, there are still many individual cheap tickets to upcoming concerts to buy at your own leisure.

If you missed the Halloween at the Symphony this past Friday, there are many upcoming concerts this season. For outer space lovers, the next concert is the Midweek Concert: Symphony Space-tacular: Star Wars and Beyond! on Nov. 1 with a $6.50 general admission price. But I would wait until Nov. 2 and 3 to get into the holiday spirit, when you can enjoy Movie with Orchestra: The Nightmare Before Christmas. This concert will cost you $12.50.

To get to the Meyerhoff, take the Charm City Circulator from the stop next to Barnes and Nobles and Nine East 33rd to Preston Street. After a short six-minute walk, you’ll reach the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. 

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is something you should see at least once while you’re a student at Hopkins. It’s a Baltimore crown jewel and an excellent way to get in tune with your right brain’s musical side. What are you waiting for? Tickets are selling fast, and their next concert is this weekend.

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