Jonathon Heyward launches his initial 5-year tenure as Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra with two spectacular weekends in both of the BSO’s year-round homes: the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and The Music Center at Strathmore.

The era kicks-off on Friday, 22 September, at The Music Center at Strathmore before returning to the Meyerhoff on Saturday, 23 September for the season opening gala concert, which also features Members of the Dance Theatre of Harlem as well as Members of the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestra and BSO OrchKids. The programme includes Dvořák’s Slavonic Dance, Op 46, No. 1, Tchaikovsky’s Mazurka from Act III of Swan Lake, Bach’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, and the world premiere choreography of Hailstork’s Symphony No. 1. Closing out this thrilling inaugural weekend, Jonathon leads the Orchestra in his first free community concert as part of the return of Artscape on Sunday, 24 September.

Maryland Governor Wess Moore and First Lady Dawn Flythe Moore, who are serving as Honorary Gala Chairs, said, “Music elevates, validates, and inspires us every day — it is how we tell our stories. Thanks to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a beautiful story is being told in Maryland, with music resounding on traditional and unexpected stages in every corner of our state. We are proud to serve as Honorary Chairs of this year’s three-day, statewide gala celebration. We are so excited to honor the incredible power of the arts and give the warmest Maryland welcome to Jonathon Heyward.”

Jonathon said, “Our upcoming three-day opening gala is a celebration of music’s ability to transcend boundaries and unite communities. I am particularly honored to collaborate with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Baltimore Symphony Youth Orchestras, and the BSO OrchKids during these celebratory performances as these partnerships underscore my belief in the transformative power of the arts and its capacity to inspire and uplift. The opportunity to stand at the helm of such a distinguished orchestra, alongside the immensely talented BSO musicians, fills me with tremendous pride and I can’t wait to get started.”

The celebrations enjoy their second week from Thursday, 28 September – Sunday, 1 October.

The BSO writes that Jonathon explores, “vibrant studies of the United States, culminating with Dvořák’s epic Ninth Symphony (“From the New World”) that draws on spirituals and indigenous melodies. Gershwin’s feisty Piano Concerto in F brings the excitement of the Jazz Age into the concert hall, featuring the “brilliant and stylish pianist” Jean-Yves Thibaudet whose interpretation is “alive with incisive rhythms, Ravelian colorings, telling intricacy, and refreshingly cool restraint” (The New York Times). Baltimore’s own James Lee III taps into Black and Native traditions in his evocative answer to Dvořák’s American vision: Amer’ican.”

The festivities extend beyond the concert stage with a fun new scavenger hunt-style game, “Find the Golden Converse,” inspired by Jonathon’s “Converse Conductor” moniker. Pairs of mini-converse sneakers are hidden in various locations throughout Baltimore City and Montgomery County. Participating locations like the Walters Art Museum, Reginald F. Lewis Museum, the Maryland Zoo, and others encourage visitors to try their luck at finding the Golden Converse during their visit for an opportunity to win tickets to the Season Opening Galas. More details about the game and rules can be found at

For more information, please visit


8:00 PM – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22The Music Center at Strathmore

8:00 PM – SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23 Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

4:00 PM – SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24 – Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall
A free, community concert in Baltimore City as part of the return of Artscape. Features special guests Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Jonathon Heyward in his debut performances as BSO Music Director. Tickets for the Artscape event are distributed by local charities and community organizations.

7:30PM – Thursday, September 28
8:00PM – Friday, September 29
8:00PM – Saturday, September 30
3:00 PM – Sunday, October 1

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Jean-Yves Thibaudet, piano
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

GERSHWIN Piano Concerto in F
DVOŘÁK Symphony No. 9, “From the New World”