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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to kick off Jonathon Heyward’s tenure as music director with 3-day gala

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is set to embrace its new music director, Jonathon Heyward, with a spectacular three-day opening gala celebration that promises to be a harmonious blend of musical excellence and artistic collaboration. The event, encompassing special performances and community engagement, will mark the beginning of a new era under Heyward’s leadership.

The festivities, graced by the presence of Honorary Gala Chairs Gov. Wes Moore and First Lady Dawn Flythe Moore, will span across multiple venues to bring the magic of music to diverse corners of the region. Commencing at The Music Center at Strathmore on September 22, the celebration will crescendo at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on September 23. A grand finale awaits on September 24, with a free community concert as part of the renowned Artscape 2023.

Echoing their commitment to the arts, the Moores expressed their pride in being Honorary Chairs of this statewide gala, a platform that resonates with the power of music to elevate and inspire. Their sentiment reflects the overarching theme of the event, which aims to showcase the profound impact of music across the state of Maryland.

Heyward, a rising star in the realm of music direction, is eagerly anticipating this kick-off event. The gala serves as both a celebration of his journey and a prelude to his impactful role as the BSO’s music director. His journey embodies the transformative potential of the arts, with early exposure to string instruments in his school district paving the way for his eventual ascent to lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

The gala’s program is a testament to the artistry that will grace its stages. Attendees can expect riveting performances of Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance, Op 46, No. 1, Tchaikovsky’s Mazurka from Act III of Swan Lake, Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, and a world premiere choreography of Hailstork’s Symphony No. 1, among other captivating pieces. Notably, members of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and BSO OrchKids will lend their talents, embodying the orchestra’s dedication to nurturing young talent.

To infuse a personal touch into the celebration, the BSO has devised a game, “Find the Golden Converse,” which resonates with Heyward’s iconic “Converse Conductor” moniker. The game invites participants to search for mini-converse sneakers hidden in various locations throughout Baltimore City and Montgomery County. Lucky finders of the Golden Converse stand a chance to win tickets to the Season Opening Galas, adding a playful dimension to the festivities.

The gala’s details are as follows:

Friday, September 22, 2023
The Music Center at Strathmore
5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

Saturday, September 23, 2023
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
1212 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

8 PM | GALA CONCERTS
Featuring special guests Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jonathon Heyward in his debut performances as BSO Music Director.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2023
Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
1212 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

4 PM | ARTSCAPE COMMUNITY CONCERT
A free, community concert in Baltimore City as part of the return of Artscape. Features special guests Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jonathon Heyward in his debut performances as BSO Music Director.

Heyward, as the youngest and first-ever Black music director of the BSO, embarks on a transformative journey that aligns with his belief in the power of music to inspire and uplift. His five-year tenure commences with this remarkable gala, which not only signifies his leadership but also showcases the orchestra’s commitment to diversity and the transformative influence of the arts. The event stands as a testament to the orchestra’s role in uniting communities and transcending boundaries, casting a resounding harmony that reverberates across the region.

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