History of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra...and concerts this spring

History of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra
...and concerts this spring

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1982 by a small group of Washington County civic leaders and music lovers. From its beginnings through the conclusion of its sixteenth season in 1997-1998, artistic leadership was provided by internationally acclaimed horn virtuoso Barry Tuckwell. Elizabeth Schulze, former Associate Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, became Music Director of the MSO in the 1999-2000 season.
From four classical concerts in its first season, programming has grown to include an MSO Pops! Concert, two Holiday Concerts, a Family Concert, a free "Salute to Independence" Concert at Antietam National Battlefield, three Citi(r) Youth Concerts for 4th grade students, a series of Kinder Konzerts for preschool and kindergarten children, and concerts in Frostburg and Frederick. Orchestra members also give numerous ensemble performances for Washington County elementary and middle school students as part of the MSO Education Outreach program, in addition to performing for residents of area hospitals and retirement centers.
Since its founding, the Orchestra's annual audience has grown from 4,500 to 60,000 while its operating budget has increased from $100,000 to over $1,000,000. The Orchestra has also performed world premieres of five compositions, two of which were commissioned.
Despite its growth, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra has never deviated from its mission "to provide musical performances and programs that educate and entertain while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding region." It has done that and more.
Concerts this spring include:
A Rare Selection of Audience Favorites
Audience members have cast their ballots and the winners will be presented during a rare selection of audience favorites on March 25 at 8:00PM and 26 at 3:00PM. The MasterWorks IV concert includes Mendelssohn's lovely "Overture to A Midsummer's Night Dream" and Beethoven's masterpiece, "Symphony No. 5." 2002 Gilmore Young Artist Award Winner Jonathan Biss is the guest artist. Noted for his diverse repertoire and artistic maturity, Mr. Biss has appeared with numerous symphonies in Europe and the United States. He highlights this "Festival of Favorites" with Brahms' beloved "Piano Concerto No. 1."
A Sparkling Season Finale
A Sparkling Season Finale on April 22 at 8:00PM and 23 at 3:00PM, features violinist Jennifer Frautschi. Since beginning her study of the violin at age 3, Ms. Frautschi has garnered acclaim from the world's most prestigious musical centers. Her vast repertoire, and her ability to move with equal ease from symphonic to chamber music venues, marks her as one of the new millennium's stars to watch. Ms. Frautshci brings her considerable talents to the MSO stage with her performance of Saint Saen's masterpiece, "Violin Concerto No. 3." This MasterWorks Series finale also includes Harbison's "Remembering Gatsby: Foxtrot for Orchestra" and Rachmaninoff's "Symphonic Dances."
Today, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra is widely recognized as one of Washington County's most valuable assets, a jewel that continues to shine brightly for music lovers everywhere.
The Maryland Symphony Orchestra is located at 13 South Potomac Street in downtown Hagerstown, and our performances are most often held in the Maryland Theatre, conveniently located next door to the Orchestra office at 21 South Potomac Street.