“There’s no place like home. Or two of them, as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra discovered 10 years ago,” writes Tim Smith in Saturday’s (1/31) Baltimore Sun. “On Feb. 5, 2005, the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda opened with a gala concert by its primary resident ensemble and founding partner, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra…. ‘Strathmore is part of who we are now,’ said Michael Lisicky, an oboist in the orchestra and head of the players’ committee. A decade of music-making in the inviting 1,976-seat concert hall has made the BSO a solid part of cultural life in Montgomery County. All the while, the orchestra has maintained its original role as a mainstay of cultural life in Baltimore, based at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. ‘Baltimore just wasn’t growing enough to sustain a full-time orchestra,’ said BSO president and CEO Paul Meecham, who joined the orchestra a year after Strathmore opened. ‘It was a brilliant idea to have a second home.’ … The center itself and other organizations present performances. So does a freelance orchestra called the National Philharmonic…. ‘The initial startup was very expensive,’ Meecham said.” Now, Meecham notes, the BSO’s Strathmore activities provide “over $1 million in net surplus.” The article also includes a discussion of Strathmore’s acoustics, audience, ambience, and educational activities.

Posted February 2, 2015