Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, Nov. 13 & 16; Boris Giltburg to make BSO debut performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1

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Marin Alsop Leads Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony, Nov. 13 & 16

Boris Giltburg to make BSO debut performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1

Baltimore, Md. (October 31, 2014) — Music Director Marin Alsop will lead the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) in Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 on Thursday, November 13 at 8 p.m. at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and Sunday, November 16 at 3 p.m. at The Music Center at Strathmore. Also on the program are Tchaikovsky’s tone poem Marche slave and Rachmaninoff’s virtuosic Piano Concerto No. 1, performed by Boris Giltburg, winner of the 2013 Queen Elisabeth Competition. Please see below for complete program details.

In 1937, Shostakovich was in hot water with Stalin, who had loathed his recent opera Lady Macbeth. The composer responded to the situation with his most popular symphony, the Fifth Symphony. Hidden within it may be musical protests against the regime — particularly in its moving, tragic slow movement — but the symphony’s overall effect is powerful and triumphant. It was a hit in the then-U.S.S.R., and everywhere else since.

Marin Alsop will also lead Tchaikovsky’s rousing Marche slave, a piece inspired by Serbian folk melodies. The composer wrote the piece in 1876 for a fundraising concert in support of Serbia’s fight against the Turks. The piece shares a few refrains with his 1812 Overture, with which it is frequently paired in performance.

Completing this all-Russian program is Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto, a work he originally wrote when he was only 18 and revised and strengthened more than 25 years later. Not heard as often as his Second and Third Concertos, it offers the Romantic melodies that were Rachmaninoff’s specialty. Performing the concerto is Russian-born and Israeli-raised pianist Boris Giltburg, who makes his BSO debut.

Marin Alsop, conductor
Marin Alsop is an inspiring and powerful voice in the international music scene, a music director of vision and distinction who passionately believes that “music has the power to change lives.” She is recognized across the world for her innovative approach to programming and for her deep commitment to education and to the development of audiences of all ages.

Marin Alsop made history with her appointment as the 12th music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). With her inaugural concerts in September 2007, she became the first woman to head a major American orchestra. Her success as the BSO’s music director has garnered national and international attention for her innovative programming and artistry. Her success was recognized when, in 2013, her tenure was extended to the 2020-2021 season.

Alsop took up the post of principal conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2012, and became music director in July 2013. There, she steers the orchestra in its artistic and creative programming, recording ventures and its education and outreach activities. She also holds the title of conductor emeritus at the Bournemouth Symphony in the United Kingdom, where she served as the principal conductor from 2002-2008.

In the summer of 2014, Maestra Alsop served her 23rd season as music director of the acclaimed Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music in California.  In September 2013, she made history as the first female conductor of the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms in London. When Musical America named Maestra Alsop the 2009 Conductor of the Year, they commented, “[Marin Alsop] connects to the public as few conductors today can.”

Boris Giltburg, piano
Pianist Boris Giltburg was born in 1984 in Moscow and has lived in Tel Aviv since early childhood.  He began lessons with his mother at the age of five and went on to study with Arie Vardy.  In 2013, he took first prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, having won second prize at the Rubinstein in 2011 and top prize at Santander back in 2002, and subsequently appearing across the globe. Notable debuts have included: South America tour 2002 (and every season since), Israel Philharmonic 2005, Indianapolis Symphony 2007, China tour 2007, BBC Proms 2010. 2012 His acclaimed CD on Orchid Classics of Prokofiev’s War Sonatas was released in 2012, earning him a place on the shortlist for the critics’ award at the Classical Brits. He has appeared with leading conductors such as Brabbins, De Waart, Dohnányi, Entremont, Fedoseyev, Neeme Järvi, Karabits, Krivine, Lintu, Petrenko, Saraste, Sokhiev and Tortelier.

Rachmaninoff & Shostakovich
Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 8 p.m. – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
Sunday, November 16, 2014 at 3 p.m. – The Music Center at Strathmore

Marin Alsop, conductor
Boris Giltburg, piano

Tchaikovsky: Marche slave
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5

Tickets start at $40 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 410.783.8000 or


The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. 

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. 

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is also supported by the Citizens of Baltimore County and Baltimore City.



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