Just in: Baltimore says it is saved by $6m gifts

Just in: Baltimore says it is saved by $6m gifts


norman lebrecht

January 14, 2020

The orchestra and its management seem to have made strides to put the damaging lockout behind them, but there’s still some way to go.

Press release:

January 14, 2020 (Baltimore, MD) – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) today announced that it has secured $6 million in extraordinary operating gifts as well as a $1.25 million endowment gift in the past month to ensure that it can move forward with the transformative, multi-year planning efforts currently underway. Funds will provide immediate cash flow and balance sheet relief as well as position the Orchestra to embark on a plan that will reinvigorate its programs and establish new levels of engagement with its audiences, the community and the state of Maryland.

 These gifts, including a $2 million leadership gift, will enable the BSO to turn the corner towards sustainability. The BSO is exceptionally grateful for generous gifts from long-time friends, Board members and passionate community leaders from greater Baltimore and Montgomery County including Michael & Patricia Batza, Rick Berndt, Barbara & Thomas Bozzuto, George & Anne Bunting, Mary Catherine Bunting, Sandra Levi Gerstung, Patricia & Mark Joseph, Earl & Darielle Linehan, The Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, Robert Meyerhoff & Rheda Becker, Judy & Scott Phares, Arnie & Alison Richman, Barry & Susan Rosen, Bruce Rosenblum & Lori Laitman, and George & Betsy Sherman, as well as others, as part of this effort.


  • Mock Mahler says:

    Pure p.r. language. $6 million, or even $7.25 million, is not going to “transform” or “reinvigorate” a large troubled organization like the BSO. What this seems to be about is keeping the jobs of current management, and preparing to save face when they have to come up with a contract for the musicians.

  • Mick the Knife says:

    Great news in Baltimore! Thanks to the generous donors to make good things happen with the BSO.

  • Robin Sutherland says:

    Amazing what the the damage poor management of an orchestra can do.

    The blame lays squarely at the feet of Alsop, artistic team, board, and lunatic policies of the city EQUALLY.

    As a resident of Baltimore, I can say that this is what happens when the city has a criminal mayor (Fmr), short sighted pushes from an orchestra staff in the name of trendy but empty (and not true) diversity, and an out of touch conductor.

    Precious tax dollars and audiences have fled Baltimore, a once great city and artistic scene.

    To circle back to a point, MILLIONS have been squandered in Alsop’s and BSO artistic team for education in inner city schools.

    Well, how is the result after 5 plus years of this? No audience and no money.

    Gee I wonder why?

    Orchestra has and always sounded damn good, a credit to Alsop in that regard.

    People need to get off these political and emotional reasons for making monetary decisions and get back to what has always brought audiences: HIGH QUALITY WITH NO POLITICS!

    • Paulette says:

      I agree — however, there is more to an orchestra’s finances than the expenses spent by artistic and on Marin Alsop that actually were likely well within their approved budget by the CEO and board—and more about what the leadership communicated to the development team or motivated to the marketing team about the importance of each investment or expense risk. And placing accountability on all of the parties at large and keeping in good communication throughout the seasons. One other thing is quite clear from the amazing news: the BSO is fortunate to have die-hard supporters over the years (ie.Meyerhoff family) on the list and some new ones. Positive stuff.

  • Kolb Slaw says:

    Did you notice that the talented composer Lori Laitman is among the donors?