Baltimore Symphony gears up for Women of the World festival

Posted on: March 2, 2012

In Thursday’s (3/1) Washington Post, Anne Midgette writes, “The festival is called Women of the World, and it covers just about every imaginable aspect of its subject. There are panels on technology; domestic violence; witches and goddesses. Women can find a mentor or act as one. Ticket-holders can take workshops on everything from identity theft to finding the right makeup. … ‘On the surface of it, it seems quite off-mission,’ says Marin Alsop, the BSO’s music director (and known to far too many simply as ‘the woman conductor’). But, she adds, ‘right now we’re comfortable doing this, trying to be leaders in our community. It’s important that we open our doors and embrace people from all different walks of life, not just this one segment of the population.’ Not only the people, that is, who attend classical music concerts. … The BSO’s festival is an extreme example of an orchestra taking on nonmusical issues. But it isn’t an isolated one. ‘I think it just builds on what’s been happening in the field,’ says Jesse Rosen, president and chief executive of the League of American Orchestras, ‘acknowledging that classical music inhabits a world of ideas. … Orchestras are looking at themselves as being responsive citizens in their communities. They do that first and foremost through the music they create. But they have capacities and interests that extend beyond just giving concerts.’ ”

Posted March 2, 2012