Baltimore Chamber Orchestra’s first performance, led by Maestra Anne Harrigan, was on January 29, 1984. She introduced the audience to a classical orchestra offering virtuoso performances that touch the heart.
From its beginning, Baltimore Chamber Orchestra has grown to occupy an essential niche in the thriving arts scene of greater Baltimore. The orchestra is the actual size for which the classical repertoire was originally composed. BCO remains a group of exceptional musicians who are passionate about their performances. Indeed, the orchestra strives to meet the same standard established at its inception in 1984: to provide accessible, high-quality, classical music with an intimate touch.
BCO’s 21st season marked the final phase of its search for a music director to replace founder Anne Harrigan. BCO selected Markand Thakar for the position of music director in June 2004. Maestro Thakar made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in 1997 and has since appeared with that orchestra numerous times, along with the National, San Antonio, Winnipeg and Charlotte Symphony Orchestras, among others. A frequent guest conductor at the Aspen Music Festival, Mr. Thakar has shared the stage with some of the world’s great artists, including Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman. He is music director of Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, principal conductor of Duluth Festival Opera, and is co-director of graduate conducting at the Peabody Conservatory.
Jonathan Leshnoff joined the orchestra as Composer in Residence in 2007, and BCO welcomed Baltimore Symphony associate concertmaster Madeline Adkins as our concertmaster in 2009.
BCO continues to achieve new heights. In recent seasons the orchestra has recorded three CDs that were released by Naxos, given five concerts on tour in China, presented a New York debut praised by The New York Times, performed on University of Delaware Masterplayers series, and hosted workshops for young conductors from around the world.
The orchestra comprises 40 of the area’s best professional musicians performing in concert venues seating fewer than 1,000, which offers each audience member the opportunity to experience music-making at an intimate level. A committed and enthusiastic Board of Trustees includes community leaders, philanthropic advisors, and music lovers. Creative partnerships with businesses and media in the region contribute to the visibility and accessibility of the orchestra.