The Music Center at Strathmore, a new 1,976-seat concert hall and education center offering performing arts in a state-of-the-art facility, officially opens its doors on February 5, 2005. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Music Center at Strathmore’s resident symphony orchestra, led by Music Director Yuri Temirkanov, will perform the opening celebration concert for the Music Center that night, featuring internationally renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and sopranos Harolyn Blackwell and Janice Chandler-Eteme.
The new $100-million Music Center at Strathmore ushers in a new era for arts and culture in the greater Washington D.C. region through its year-round integrated programming of more than 150 performances a year and over 75 educational opportunities each week. Located in Montgomery County, Md.—a business and commercial area whose population is nearly 1 million—the Music Center at Strathmore will become the cultural focal point for the area and will draw concertgoers from the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and Maryland.
The Music Center at Strathmore was designed by William Rawn Associates Architects Inc. (Boston), acousticians Kirkegaard Associates (Chicago, IL) and theater consultant Theater Projects Consultants (South Norwalk, Conn.), which is the same team that designed the d Seiji Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood (Colo.).
The new Music Center features a 1,976-seat hall. In the first season alone, Strathmore will present a range of performances by artists as diverse as Arlo Guthrie, Savion Glover, Peter Cincotti and Barbara Cook in the Strathmore Signature Series.
“This new hall is the culmination of a vision to establish a dynamic, world-class performing arts and education center under one roof that is alive with activity day and night, all year round,” says Eliot Pfanstiehl, president and CEO of Strathmore. “We can welcome audiences and students to the Music Center at Strathmore with a wide range of classes and quality programming comparable to any major performing arts center, while maintaining a feel of accessibility and ease.”
The opening of the Music Center at Strathmore also marks the beginning of a new era for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which will become the only major American orchestra to have year-round homes in two metropolitan areas. The BSO will present more than 40 concerts each season at the Music Center at Strathmore, including classical programs with Maestro Temirkanov and guest conductors, pops concerts and special presentations. During the inaugural season, the Orchestra will perform with guest artists, such as Hilary Hahn, Gidon Kremer and Bobby McFerrin, and will present ensembles such as the Boys Choir of Harlem and the Canadian Brass.
“The opening of the Music Center at Strathmore marks an artistically adventurous milestone in the BSO’s 90-year history,” says James Glicker, president of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. “We hope that the BSO’s new presence will enrich Maryland’s cultural landscape for generations to come by providing unique symphonic experiences and educational initiatives reflective of the vibrancy and diversity of this region.”
One of the few professional concert halls with a full music and dance education facility in the same building, the Music Center at Strathmore boasts two major rehearsal halls for orchestra and chorus, four classrooms, a 2,500-square foot dance studio with sprung floor and nine practice rooms. Anchored by the Levine School of Music, CityDance Ensemble and Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, the Education Center will be a hub of activity every day for children and adults.
Strathmore’s Education Center will host a full schedule of classes, rehearsals, one-on-one instruction, recitals and noncredit educational programs, bringing together the expertise and talent of resident faculty with student access to some of the world’s top artists. In the first season, guest performers and professional musicians will participate in five special master classes and workshops at the Music Center at Strathmore.
For more information, please go to www.strathmore.org.